Today saw the start of the penultimate full ranking event to be staged in China this season, as Mark Allen made a successful start to the defence of his Haikou World Open title.
Click below for a round-up of today’s action…
- Click here to view the results so far
- Click here to view the latest projected seedings
- Click here to view the latest provisional money list
Two-time Haikou World Open champion Mark Allen overcame a 2-1 deficit this morning against Mike Dunn to book his place in the last 32 of this year’s tournament.
Mark made a flying start to the match with an opening frame run of 127, before Mike won the next two to move into the lead. Though Allen was unable to reproduce the scoring form of the opening frame however, he was able to turn the tables and win the next four frames with a top break of 59.
An important victory for Allen, it moves him to within just 425 points of 15th placed Robert Milkins in the race for a Crucible spot, although of course Milkins and those immediately above him have yet to play their opening matches in China. Next up for Mark will (wildcard permitting), be a clash with two-time world champion Mark Williams, himself looking for a deep run this week if he is to avoid having to qualify for the World Championship.
As for Mike Dunn, the result is a blow to his hopes of remaining on the tour for next season, with just two tournaments left for him to add to his money list total now.
There was to be a similar blow for Steve Davis, who despite taking the opening frame today against recent AT4 winner Stuart Bingham, ultimately lost out 5-3. This result, combined with a surprise victory for Thepchaiya Un-Nooh against Scotland’s Stephen Maguire, means that Davis drops down to 64th place on the latest provisional money list, in which he must end the season inside the top 64 if he is to retain his tour card for next season.
Already out of the China Open and not qualified for the Players Championship Grand Finals, it now looks almost certain that Davis will have to win at least one match at the World Championship qualifiers if he is to remain on tour for another season.
Aside from Maguire’s surprise defeat today, the remaining top 16 players in action were able to move into the last 32, with John Higgins, Mark Selby, Stuart Bingham and Barry Hawkins amongst the winners. World number one Neil Robertson too was able to progress with victory against Jamie Jones on the TV table, in the process compiling his 89th century of his record-breaking season.
There was to be disappointment for Shanghai Masters finalist Xiao Guodong as he lost out 5-4 to Pankaj Advani, notably losing frame four as a result of the ‘three misses’ rule which famously caught out Dechawat Poomjaeng last season at the Crucible.
It had looked for a while like Michael Wasley was going to pull off a shock against Welshman Ryan Day as he moved three frames clear at 4-1, but it was to be the former world number six who would ultimately prevail, taking a 5-4 victory.
The action continues tomorrow, with the likes of Robert Milkins, Mark Williams, Jimmy White, Ali Carter and Joe Perry involved in important matches, as well as Judd Trump and Ding Junhui.