An interesting opening day from Australia as Mark Davis raised a few eyebrows by toppling world finalist Judd Trump at the last 32 stage while Stephen Hendry secured a much needed win against Martin Gould later in the day. Click below for all the stories from day one…
All eyes were on Judd Trump today as he made his return to the televised arena against veteran qualifier Mark Davis. In his first match as a top 16 player however it was not to be plain sailing as Judd slipped to a 5-3 defeat as he looks to kick on following his spectacular end to the 2010/11 season.
In truth I cannot say that I am too surprised as in my tournament preview I flagged up the possibility of an upset here following a series of tweets from Judd over the last couple of months which have certainly given the impression that he has spent more time having fun than at a snooker table since his Crucible run. Who can blame him, as others have said today it would probably be more worrying if he hadn’t rewarded himself, but sooner rather than later the focus will have to return to his snooker if he is to continue his rise up the rankings.
All that said, take nothing away from Mark who over the last couple of seasons has become a dangerous player and shone today with breaks of 91, 84, and 58 saw him into a 3-0 lead and from there he never really looked back. Next up for him will be a tough match against either Mark Selby or Joe Perry.
Elsewhere there was also a welcome win for Stephen Hendry who avenged two previous last 32 defeats against Martin Gould to move into the last 16. Taking the first two without conceding a point, Stephen gained the upper hand early on before Gould responded with frames three and four to level at the interval.
The next two were again shared before Hendry edged into the lead once more with a break of 120, his 758th century break in professional competition. Gould had a chance to force a decider in frame eight but a missed blue proved costly as a well-constructed 58 from Hendry was enough to see him through.
A big win for Stephen, while he remains ranked outside of the top 16 provisionally, it does at least keep him in touch with that magical bracket whereas defeat would have left him with a mountain to climb. Disappointment for Gould however who misses the chance to consolidate his position ahead of Hendry in the projected seedings.
Elsewhere there were early wins for Shaun Murphy and the in-form David Gilbert while Rory McLeod reached the last 16 of a tournament for the second event in a row having failed to do so in his career beforehand. Trailing Peter Ebdon 3-0 at one stage, victory looked unlikely for Rory but a five-frame winning streak in what proved to be a reasonably long match saw him through to meet Murphy in the next round.
Finally there was also an impressive win for Tom Ford who upset the higher ranked Jamie Cope, despite a century break for the man from Stoke. Like Rory a player battling to get back into the top 32 at the first cut-off point, Tom will be hoping to reach his second ranking event quarter-final with a win against either Ding Junhui or Stuart Bingham.
Shaun Murphy 5-3 Andrew Higginson
Dave Gilbert 5-1 James Mifsud
Judd Trump 3-5 Mark Davis
Jamie Cope 3-5 Tom Ford
Stephen Hendry 5-3 Martin Gould
Peter Ebdon 3-5 Rory McLeod