Shanghai Masters 2010: Legends Struggle as Selby and Ding Survive

Rankings updated…

The actual action may have taken a back seat today with the conclusion of the John Higgins saga but as ever there were some interesting results from Shanghai. Click below for the day’s scores and again a few observations from myself…

NOTE: I have now updated the tournament schedule with tomorrow’s fixtures here.

Today’s results:

Jamie Cope 5-3 Steve Davis
35-75, 64-13, 58-55, 69-23, 21-68, 27-88(51), 85-47, 63-54

Ding Junhui 5-4 Jin Long
76-25, 9-63, 25-73, 26-66, 1-78, 63(53)-35, 119(93)-14, 73-0, 89(67)-30

Allister Carter 5-3 Dave Harold
50-75(56), 89(57)-29, 90-0, 16-51, 92(72)-21, 9-72, 94(51)-60. 62-51

Shaun Murphy 5-3 Stephen Lee
72-30, 45-81(53), 43-66(65), 61-72, 62(51)-1, 114(114)-1, 94(86)-22, 69(68)-25

Mark Selby 5-2 Mei Xiwen
68-48, 70(50)-57, 92(55)-12, 47-68, 88(88)-27, 0-99(99), 69-40

Stephen Hendry 2-5 Martin Gould
97-0, 0-68, 38-50, 54-50, 1-106(56), 0-73(73), 16-83

Mark King 5-3 Joe Delaney
33-58, 6-65, 68-0, 91(53)-2, 35-63, 90(60)-19, 72-48, 90(72)-0

Neil Robertson 4-5 Peter Ebdon
71-34, 8-89(57), 7-65, 58-53, 111(51)-6, 0-88, 99(70)-22, 0-69, 2-106(62)

  • It was another bad day at the office today for seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry as he was comfortably beaten by world number 43 Martin Gould in the first round of the Shanghai Masters tournament. Although Stephen has not played particularly well for some time now, his consistency in the early rounds of tournaments has until now been enough to see him remain inside the world’s top 16 but following this defeat his position becomes all the more precarious with his customary spot at the Crucible far from assured. Take nothing away from Martin however, the player who incidentally was the last to record a victory against Hendry at the last 32 stage back in Newport last year. Up into the top 32 provisionally, he is a face that we will be seeing more and more of at the venues over the coming years.
  • One veteran that I had a sneaky feeling might win today was the in-form Steve Davis but despite his match against Jamie Cope seeing a series of close frames with no breaks of any note, something which I would expect to suit Steve, it was the man from Stoke who came through to win. It was an important match for Jamie given that he is seeded inside the top 16 this week and lifts him up to 15th on my latest provisional ranking list as the four-way battle between himself and Matthew Stevens, Stephen Lee and Mark Davis for the two available top 16 places at the next revision hots up.
  • Another notable loser today was the current world champion, Neil Robertson, who as in Beijing earlier on this season had no answer for the game of former China Open champion Peter Ebdon. Citing tiredness, this result interestingly gives the likes of Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy and Ding Junhui – all winners today – an opportunity to really make some inroads into his lead at the top of the world rankings. With John Higgins already certain not to retain his number one spot, we are now left with potentially an intriguing battle there. I will post more following the conclusion of this tournament when we will have a better idea…