China Open 2009: Trump shocked as wildcards advance

Wow, just hours into the start of the tournament and we have our first big shock as Judd Trump bows out of the tournament to local wildcard Tang Jun. He is not the only big name to crash out however as so far four of the wildcards have moved into the last 32…

Afternoon Session


Tang Jun 5-3 Judd Trump
63-52, 17-112(100), 75-59(45), 75(64)-35, 24-64, 75-37, 29-74(72), 75(46)-71(48)
Cao Kaisheng 0-5 Ricky Walden
10-79(75), 28-62(50), 23-109(105), 0-126(96), 6-106(90)
Cao Yupeng 2-5 Stuart Pettman
59-30, 12-121(72), 0-80(80), 68(66)-16, 21-111(84), 44-65, 21-90(69)
Yu Delu 5-3 Rod Lawler
0-98(98), 68-43, 68(68)-0, 65(46)-40, 40-61, 67(66)-30, 17-61(54), 69-47

Congratulations to Tang Jun who has caused a sensation by knocking out young Judd Trump who let’s not forget won the Championship League just days ago. Unfortunately I could not watch the match but from the frame scores it looks like Judd did not make the most of his opportunities and his opponent was able to step in and punish him.

Given the form that Judd showed last week at Crondon Park I am really shocked that he has lost this match and along with his early exit in the World Championship qualifiers it is a slightly disappointing end to his ranking event season. Still though, he has moved up into the top 32, reached his first semi-final, won the Masters qualifiers and qualified for next season’s Premier League, so it has been a successful campaign overall.

It is Tang Jun who will go through to the next round though where he will face the struggling Peter Ebdon who I am sure will be privately relieved that he does not have to play Judd. If Tang can play well again then who knows, perhaps he could go even further…

Tang was not the only wildcard to advance to the last 32 either as Yu Delu recorded an impressive 5-3 win over the experienced Rod Lawler to earn a tie with Graeme Dott. While this brings Rod’s season to a slightly premature end, he has at least done enough to stay on the tour for next season.

In the other two matches however it was the tour players who had the upper hand as Ricky Walden and Stuart Pettman advanced to the next round. While Stuart had a bit of a battle with Cao Yupeng, going in 2-2 at the interval, he did enough afterwards to come through and book a clash with Mark Allen.

For Ricky though it could not have been more straightforward, or more impressive as he knocked breaks of 105, 96, 90, 75 and 50 on the way to a 5-0 whitewash of Cao Kaisheng. Ominous form from Ricky and let’s not forget, the last time he cane through the wildcard round in China he went on to win the tournament…

Evening Session


Liang Wenbo 2-5 Robert Milkins
7-81(36), 2-65(65), 76(33)-1, 31-75(41), 72(72)-16, 0-80(75)
Tian Pengfei 5-1 David Gray
81(81)-7, 75(36)-0, 71(60)-45, 27-71, 72-17
Xiao Guodong 5-3 Michael Holt
20-77, 63(61)-13

The dream afternoon continued for the wildcards as Tian Pengfei and Xiao Guodong defeated David Gray and Michael Holt respectively to move into the last 32. These results are perhaps less surprising because both are former main tour professionals and in Xiao’s case he will be back on it next season, but both are impressive nontheless.

For Gray though it is a hugely significant defeat as it means that he now loses his place on the tour, though for Atthasit Mahitthi it will be a huge relief as he will now take the final place on the one-year list. It was always going to be a tough ask, indeed he needed to win not only this match, but also his potential last 32 clash with Marco Fu and it has indeed proved to be too difficult a task.

Michael Holt will be disappointed too but ultimately he is sure of returning to the top 32 and I suspect that his attention will be primarily on the World Championship at this time, so I would not read too much into this defeat.

While it has been a good day for the wildcards on the whole, it was not so for Liang Wenbo who today lost his last 64 match that had been held over from Prestatyn to Robert Milkins who now will play Joe Swail tomorrow. Liang just did not get going and though Robert struggled at times himself, not killing off frames in one visit, he fully deserved his victory. Interestingly Liang played a lot more safety than I have seen from him before, but his potting game was just not working and he slipped to a 5-2 defeat.