Shanghai Masters Qualifiers 2010: Day Two News

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After yesterday’s run of relatively predictable results, the qualifiers at the Academy caught fire today as with 11 of the day’s 16 matches completed, six unseeded players are through to the third round, four following deciding frames…

Update: In the pick of the evening matches, talented youngster Liam Highfield recorded a fine 5-3 victory over Jimmy White, making a fine break of 138 in the process. Jimmy can’t have been at his best having attended the funeral of Alex Higgins yesterday but nevertheless it must have been a special win for Liam…

Having performed so well last season to move up inside the top 64 for the first time, Matt Selt might have hoped for a few easier ties early on in ranking event tournaments but the experienced Alfie Burden was never going to be that having dispensed with Reanne Evans so clinically yesterday. On paper this was for me one of the most difficult matches of the day to predict and so it proved to the end, the pair never being more than a frame apart throughout the entire match. Ultimately however it was to be a two frame burst from Alfie from 3-2 down to lead 4-3 what proved crucial, before a break of 82 in frame nine secured his passage into the next round and another fascinating tie with the in-form Marcus Campbell.

Other qualifiers to be successful today included ranking event debutants Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon and Igor Figureido who triumphed against Mark Joyce and David Gilbert respectively, two players who are far from easy draws. What makes Igor’s win all the more impressive is the fact that he was actually docked the first frame of the match having arrived late, only to react in the best possible way by taking the next three frames to lead 3-1! David did fight back to level at 3-3 but was never to lead again and eventually lost a scrappy decider.

Also through to the third round are SightRightUK duo Barry Pinches and Matt Couch, although their respective matches today could not have been more contrasting! For Matt it was a short day at the office as he made breaks of 105, 66 and 52 on his way to an impressive whitewash of talented Belgian player Bjorn Haneveer. Barry on the other hand found himself 4-1 down against the up and coming Anthony McGill and looked all set to start his season with his defeat.

Barry is however in strong form as evidenced by his recent run to the final of the second event of the new PTC and used his vast experience to take the next four frames and with it a 5-4 victory. Next up for Barry will be a tie with Rod Lawler, elevated to the top 48 seeds for this tournament following the suspension of John Higgins.

Photo courtesy of Janie Watkins

Elsewhere it was better news for another Scot, James McBain who continued his good form this week with a 5-4 victory over the seeded Jimmy Robertson, while Zhang Anda recorded a 5-1 victory over Welshman Paul Davies as he looks to prove that his run to the Crucible last season was not a flash in the pan.

For the results in full please click here.