From Bangkok to Beijing: Day One News

As the opening day of the two tournaments staged in Asia this week progresses, here is a summary of what has happened so far…

Beijing International Challenge

Mixed starts for 110sport duo Stephen Hendry and Ali Carter early today as the seven-times world champion was whitewashed by a fluent Liang Wenbo, while Carter made breaks of 73 and 68 on the way to a 3-0 win over Jin Long.

The match of the day however promised to be that between world number two Stephen Maguire and last season’s UK finalist Marco Fu, but as it transpired, this became something of an exhibition as Maguire played brilliantly to win 3-0.

Tomorrow’s fixtures are:

Stephen Maguire v Mark Allen
Marco Fu v Tian Pengfei
Liang Wenbo v Ali Carter

Sangsom 6-Red World Grand Prix

Meanwhile, over in Thailand we have seen some notable results coming from the six-red event as the likes of John Higgins and Mark Williams have given themselves work to do by losing out early on day one.

For Higgins in particular it was a strange start as it appears that he was docked the first three frames against Pakistan’s Mohammed Sajjad, presumably for being late, while potting just one red in the next two as he fell to a 5-0 whitewash. His day did at least improve however as he ran out a 5-1 winner over Wales’ world number 26 Matthew Stevens to give his hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages of the tournament a boost.

Another world champion to lose out was Mark Williams who from 2-2 against Stoke’s Dave Harold, lost the next three frames to get off to a bad start. Like Higgins however he did manage to respond later in the day with a 5-0 victory over Egypt’s Wael Talaat, who had already lost out 5-4 to Oceania Champion Glen Wilkinson earlier in the day. The other result so far from that group saw reigning IBSF world champion Thepchaiya Un-Nooh win against Qatar player Mohsen Abdulaziz.

Aside from these two, the majority of the established professional players have managed to win so far, including defending champion Ricky Walden, Michael Holt, Barry Hawkins and young Judd Trump, though for the latter not without a scare against Hong Kong’s Fun Kwok Wai who took him to a deciding frame. Good news for Ken Doherty too who managed to win against Supoj Saenla as he enters what is a critical season for him in which any potentially confidence boosting win is welcome.

Other top players who did lose however were Joe Swail, Stuart Bingham and James Wattana who lost out to former professionals Issara Kachaiwong, Darren Morgan and Aditya Mehta respectively. Morgan in particular appears to be in good touch as he also defeated Noppadol Sangnil who was able to qualify for the main tour next season via the PIOS last season. Sangnil did at least respond well to record a 5-2 win over Manan Chandra later in the day.