Shanghai Masters Qualifiers 2009: Day Four Updates

The final qualifying round of the Shanghai Masters qualifiers is now underway and already it has been a mixed day for some of snooker’s top young talent. Incidentally the draw for the last 32 stage of the tournament is now available here on Global Snooker and I will be posting a full preview of it during the coming days…

Morning Session

The first match to finish has seen the first upset of the day with Marcus Campbell coming through to win 5-2 against Bristol youngster Judd Trump. As the pair exchanged 50 breaks to share the first couple of frames it looked like we might have a close match in prospect but from there Marcus managed to rattle off three straight frames to lead 4-1 and put himself in an excellent position. Judd did not give up and responded with a century to keep the match alive but Marcus was not to be denied and took frame seven to qualify for the venue.

As much of a setback as this is to Judd, this is an excellent win for Scotland’s Campbell and completes an impressive recovery from this time yesterday when he trailed Tony Drago 4-3 with two frames to go. He will now go on to meet Stephen Hendry in Shanghai, the man who he famously defeated 9-0 in the UK Championship a decade ago…

Much better news for Jamie Cope however as he has completed a comprehensive 5-0 whitewash of Nottingham’s Anthony Hamilton as he looks to finally make the breakthrough into the top 16. Despite falling out of the top 32, Anthony actually finished last season quite well but as Jamie knocked in breaks of 73, 91, 67, 36 and 64, there was little he could do to stop the “Shotgun” from advancing.

A good start for Jamie however and he now moves into a clash with Joe Perry in the last 32, the man who he knocked out of the World Championship at the same stage back in May. Could well go far in this event…

Joining him in Shanghai will be Barry Hawkins who bounced back from losing the first frame against Simon Bedford this morning to complete a 5-1 victory in just under two and a half hours.

Having narrowly missed out in the top 16 last season Barry will be hoping for a better campaign this time around and this is the perfect start. It will be a difficult next match for him however as next up will be world number two Stephen Maguire, a player looking to make amends for a below par season last year and is more than capable of doing so.

One relieved man in Prestatyn however will be Mark King who having been forced to qualify due to the victory of Ricky Walden last season, has narrowly avoided an early exit by edging past Stuart Pettman with a 5-4 win.

Having led both 2-0 and 4-2, Mark must have been anxious in the decider having seen the resilient Pettman come back at him twice already but thanks largely to a 53 break, he just about managed to get over the line and seal his spot in Shanghai. Ironically his next opponent will be the man who took his automatic place in the draw, Ricky Walden, but he can at least do so in the knowledge that he already has a good amount of ranking points in the bank and that it will be Ricky under pressure as the defending champion. Could be a very close match if Mark is on his game…

The final match of the day to finish saw 1997 world champion Ken Doherty continue his improved form with a narrow victory over countryman Fergal O’Brien this afternoon. It was a tight match throughout, Ken leading 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 before Fergal won two in a row to move just one away at 4-3. The match had the feeling of one that would go to a decider however and with a 78 break in frame eight Ken ensured that this would be the case before moving into a 76-30 lead as the match time passed the four hour mark. To his credit Fergal did not give up when needing snookers, indeed he got three of the four that he needed, but it was all to be in vain as Ken knocked in brown and blue to make sure of victory.

Not only is this an excellent win for Ken but amazingly this is the first time that Ken has won two matches in the same ranking event since the 2007 China Open! His reward will be a tough tie with Neil Robertson out in Shanghai, not an easy match but at least he already has a good amount of ranking points in the bank and to an extent can relax a bit as the pressure will be on Neil as the top 16 player.

Scores from Global Snooker:

Match 49 – Mark King 5-4 Stuart Pettman
70-28, 108(50,58)-7, 16-66(35), 20-62(50), 97(79)-36(36), 76(46)-41(41), 5-94(45,49), 0-71(56), 71(53)-0
Match 50 – Judd Trump 2-5 Marcus Campbell
13-60(52), 70(50)-1, 4-67(41), 20-79(79), 47(47)-74(42), 105(105)-28, 23-64
Match 51 – Liang Wenbo v David Gilbert (held over to Shanghai)
Match 52 – Dave Harold 2-5 Andrew Higginson
18-82, 12-67(50), 11-72(38), 74-32, 73(36,33)-35, 17-114(114), 51-77(44)
Match 53 – Michael Holt 5-4 Jamie Burnett
71(43)-51(46), 70(53)-40, 37-76(76), 20-65(48), 4-70(58), 62(37)-13, 64-38, 39-65(59), 93(67)-0
Match 54 – Jamie Cope 5-0 Anthony Hamilton
83(73)-9, 91(91)-37, 69(67)-2, 61(36)-54, 65(64)-0
Match 55 – Fergal O’Brien 4-5 Ken Doherty
21-75, 87(87)-50, 5-89, 66-61(52), 1-83, 65-0, 71-23, 12-78(78), 53-89
Match 56 – Barry Hawkins 5-1 Simon Bedford
36-92(42), 70(48)-44, 68(47)-11, 57(48)-15, 67-4, 70(58)-0

Afternoon Session

First man through this afternoon is world number 32 Gerard Greene who has recorded a very impressive 5-3 victory over one of last season’s star players further down the rankings, Martin Gould. It was Martin who made the early running as he took the opening frame but runs of 71 and then an excellent 135 have ensured that it will be Gerard who goes through to Shanghai and a clash with world number 6 Ryan Day.

I must admit that given his form over the previous nine months and the fact that Greene lost out at this stage of four tournaments last season, I had fancied Martin to win this one but fair play to Gerard for proving me wrong. Having earned his full quota of ranking points now it will be interesting to see if he can find a way past Day…

Another man to surprise me slightly has been 2006 world champion Graeme Dott who despite playing with a new cue that he is not totally comfortable with yet, has recovered from 4-1 down against Jimmy Robertson to snatch a brilliant 5-4 win. At the time of writing the frame scores are unclear due to some technical issues on the World Snooker site but in any case it is a great way to start what is his first season outside of the top 16 since 2000/1.

Next up for him will be a much tougher test however as he plays the man who beat him in the 2004 world final, Ronnie O’Sullivan. At least from Graeme’s point of view he will have another month to practice with his new cue and in any case he is no stranger to beating O’Sullivan overseas, indeed he recorded a 5-0 whitewash against him over in Malta back in 2005.

Another man needing a good start to the season was Welshman Matthew Stevens and he duly got it this evening with a 5-1 victory over Patrick Wallace. Matthew has struggled recently but he is still a class player and with runs of 62, 59 and 79 he soon opened up a 4-0 cushion at the interval. Patrick took a close fifth frame to keep his hopes alive but a break of 64 from Matthew in frame six soon ended his hopes and ensured that he will be on the plane to Shanghai where he will face another Northern Irishman – Mark Allen.

Last man through to Shanghai is Matt Selt who has pulled off a brilliant 5-4 victory against six-times world champion Steve Davis tonight. It was a predictably tight match from the start, Davis using all his experience to get frames on the board despite not playing at his best while Matt continued his good form by keeping in touch. Having made it 4-4 with a well-taken 105 in the eighth frame, Selt had the first opportunity in the decider but broke down before a failed long-range effort  left Davis in with a great chance to book his last 32 place.

Unfortunately for Steve however, a missed red to right-centre proved to be his undoing and Selt was soon in again with a chance to get back into the match. Though he would not win it at that visit, an excellent clearance to the brown (including a couple of great shots with the final red tight on the side cushion), left Davis needing two snookers and soon enough it was all over.

It is a disappointing outcome for Steve as he looks to reclaim his place in the top 16 but an excellent result for Matt, marking the first time that he has reached the last 32 of a ranking event in his career. Things do not get any easier for him as he faces world number two and reigning world champion John Higgins out in Shanghai but whatever happens it will be a great experience for him.

Match 57 – Graeme Dott 5-4 Jimmy Robertson
70(37)-45, 0-122(62), 27-73, 41-49, 0-75(57), 64-13, 113(113)-0, 138(72,44)-0, 62(38)-42
Match 58 – Nigel Bond 5-4 Dominic Dale
63-50, 5-83(83), 0-138(138), 43-71, 80-73
Match 59 – Stephen Lee 5-3 Lee Spick
67-16, 88-0, 56-8, 55-65, 74-44, 16-88(80), 8-94(85), 67(40)-23
Match 60 – Stuart Bingham 5-2 Mark Davis
13-86(40), 5-75(75), 67(47)-46, 61(40)-44, 71(44)-1, 75(52)-31, 59-44
Match 61 – Gerard Greene 5-3 Martin Gould
52-75, 68-7, 104(71)-0, 82(82)-0, 4-127(127), 0-79(58), 65(51)-37, 135(135)-0
Match 62 – Matthew Stevens 5-1 Patrick Wallace
109(62)-4, 60-59(59), 66-50, 79(79)-0, 41-56, 64(64)-1
Match 63 – Joe Swail 5-1 Adrian Gunnell
65(51)-53(42), 96(70)-24, 77-38, 28-64(36), 77-38, 28-64(36), 73(73)-8, 68(46)-21
Match 64 – Steve Davis 4-5 Matthew Selt
71-51, 38-74(39), 60-52(52), 20-61, 52-78(45), 68(35)-4, 71(61)-1, 20-105(105), 40-72