Arguably the biggest day of the season so far, today sees the last 32 for the Australian Open decided and so far the stand out result has been an emphatic 5-0 victory for Matt Selt against Ricky Walden while Mark Davis and Marcus Campbell also won tense encounters.
Unfortunately there was also a moment of controversy involving Rory McLeod…
Day Four Results
Ricky Walden 0-5 Matthew Selt
Martin Gould 5-3 Mark Joyce
Robert Milkins 2-5 Rory McLeod
Andrew Higginson 5-4 Jamie Burnett
Marcus Campbell 5-4 Mike Dunn
Ryan Day 5-0 Yu Delu
Gerard Greene 2-5 Tom Ford
Stuart Bingham 5-2 Michael Holt
Joe Perry 5-2 Fergal O’Brien
Mark Davis 5-4 Tian Pengfei
Liang Wenbo 5-3 Ben Woollaston
Ken Doherty 5-2 Scott MacKenzie
Barry Hawkins 4-5 Nigel Bond
Dominic Dale 5-3 Liam Highfield
Mark King 0-5 David Gilbert
Stephen Lee 3-5 Barry Pinches
Coming into the start of this season with work to do, defending the points from his runs to the venues in Shanghai and Glasgow a couple of years ago, Matt Selt needed results in order to maintain his position inside the world’s top 48. Today that is certainly what he got as he stunned former top 16 player Ricky Walden by taking all five frames with a top break of 114 to book his place on the plane to Australia this morning. Matt will now meet John Higgins at the venue, as was the case when he qualified for the Shanghai Masters back in 2009. Disappointment though for Ricky who is a player currently going in the wrong direction, certainly as far as his ranking is concerned and will be hoping to get back on track at the PTC2.
Another man wasting little time in booking his flight to Australia was Welshman Ryan Day who also recorded a whitewash, this time against China’s Yu Delu who came into the match on the back of a few good wins. While Ryan has work to do in order to reclaim his place inside the top 16, with few points to come off during the coming months I can see him being close to achieving that goal this time next year if he can maintain his improved form.
It was not so easy however for Marcus Campbell who took the last two frames of his match against Mike Dunn to record a 5-4 victory this afternoon. In a match that started at 10am, both struggled for fluency and it was not until 2:45pm that Marcus was able to get over the line to secure a big win. Unfortunately for Mike however it was not to be and he commented on Twitter soon after:
“Massive OUCH !!! that really really really hurt.”
It could also have been a painful afternoon for Andrew Higginson who to his horror surrendered a 4-0 interval advantage against Jamie Burnett to find himself level at 4-4 and into a deciding frame. Eventually however it was the man from Widnes who was to get the win and progress to the last 32 stage a relieved man.
Another 5-4 winner was Mark Davis who like Campbell won the last two frames of his match against dangerman Tian Pengfei to advance. A particularly sweet win against the man who ousted him at the wildcard stage of the China Open back in 2010, it also boosts Mark’s chances of gaining a place inside the top 16 for the first time.
Elsewhere there was a win for Martin Gould in a high quality match against Mark Joyce while Rory McLeod defeated Robert Milkins to secure a last 32 match with Peter Ebdon in Australia. Interesting it would appear that Rory refused to shake the hand of female referee Ivy Zhu’s hand because of his muslim beliefs, according to Jan Verhaas on Twitter…