China Open Qualifiers 2009: Round Four News (updated)

Day four, round four from Pontin’s as the qualifiers (well most of them) for the TV stages of the China Open will be revealed. Click below for my updates and here to view the draw over at GSC…

Morning Session

The upset of the morning was undoubtedly caused by world number 60 Rod Lawler who defeated former UK Champion and twice World finalist Matthew Stevens 5-4 to reach the last 32. Having already exceeded my expectations by defeating Daniel Wells and Adrian Gunnell to reach this stage, to defeat Stevens is a really impressive result by anyone’s standards. His reward for this is a clash with 2007 China Open winner Graeme Dott in front of the TV cameras.

Less surprising however was yet another win for teenage sensation Judd Trump who brushed aside Ken Doherty 5-0 in no time. While Doherty is really struggling for form these days he is still a notable scalp for Judd and to beat him so convincingly is a fine achievement. Next up for him will be a tie with another out of sorts world champion in the form of Peter Ebdon.

For Ken though these are really desperate times as he was already down at 35th in the provisional rankings, and 38th on the one year list. With just two events left this season really needs to qualify for both of them if he is to stand a chance of remaining in the top 32 for another year…

Speaking of struggling players, Nigel Bond has endured a nightmare season so far, but finally he has something to shout about as he won his first match in nearly a year to qualify for China today. Up against Jamie Burnett he did not have an easy match by any means but in winning 5-1 he is bound to improve his provisional ranking from its current precarious position of 32. Also down at 60th on the one year list, this could be vital for next season as he will have to play well to avoid a real slide down the rankings for the following season.

World number 62 Stuart Pettman won his third match of the week with an impressive 5-2 win over six-times world champion Steve Davis. Having already qualified for the Shanghai Masters this season it seems that there is something about events in China that seems to inspire Stuart and with this win he has earned a clash with Mark Allen, as well as a nice amount of ranking points. For Davis though it is a disappointing result given how his season has gone up to now and one that possibly ends realistic hopes of an immediate return to the top 16.

Joe Swail – Milkins/Wenbo**
Stephen Lee 5-3 Jin Long 61-64(38), 19-109(109), 65(63)-0, 87(86)-8, 81(44)-30, 52(51)-69(43), 70(37)-9, 63(49)-53(37)
Dave Harold 5-4 Jimmy Michie 654-25, 7-72(72), 32-73(72), 13-70(65), 10-53, 71-8, 76(75)-33, 62-28, 67(48)-42
Ken Doherty 0-5 Judd Trump 51(51)-70(46), 41-66(36), 15-101(60,36), 63(51)-67(41), 1-102(62)
Michael Judge 4-5 Ricky Walden 0-104(44,56), 11-69(50), 63(58)-1, 57-5, 21-80(80), 0-134(109), 103(103)-9, 61-7, 0-68
Nigel Bond 5-1 Jamie Burnett 88(74)-0, 84(84)-4, 70-31, 23-63(57), 64(50)-22, 54-52(38)
Matthew Stevens 4-5 Rod Lawler 66(60)-48(48), 0-119(56), 5-119(38,50), 72(61)-1, 74(70)-29, 0-99(70), 27-65(34), 71(38)-7, 0-77(62)
Steve Davis 2-5 Stuart Pettman 30-72, 39-72(52), 66(54)-26, 40-65(50), 0-105(99), 70-35, 11-109(109)

Afternoon Session

Having come through a tight match against Marcus Campbell yesterday to reach the last 48, David Gray recorded a resounding 5-0 win against Barry Hawkins tonight to qualify for the final stages. This is a real step forward for David who at just 29 years of age should not really be down at 62nd in the provisional rankings given the talent that he has displayed in the past. He is down there though because results haven’t been good and this is the first time since the 2007 Northern Ireland Trophy that he has qualified for the last 32 of an event.

For Barry Hawkins it is a very disappointing result however, particularly when you look at how he has played this season up until now. Perhaps he has had a few sleepless nights recently due to the recent birth of baby Harrison and his practice has suffered!

After being forced to withdraw from his UK Championship qualifier last month due to a shoulder problem, John Parrott has bounced back this week with a good couple of wins now, the latest tonight against world number 21 Stuart Bingham. Though a break of 124 from Bingham was the highest of the ‘TV stages’ so far, it was a bad day at the table for him and he went down 5-2 in the end. Parrott’s reward is a last 32 clash with Shaun Murphy, the man who knocked him out of the World Championship back in 2007.

The impressive run of Patrick Wallace was brought to an end this evening as Anthony Hamilton managed to win just his third match of the season to progress to the last 32. Indeed his 5-1 success was his first win since back at the Grand Prix qualifiers last year and a much needed one it was too if the man from Nottingham is not to fall out of the top 32 for the first time in over 15 years.

The ‘Shotgun’ Jamie Cope came back from 3-1 down to win the next four frames and overcome Redcar’s Mike Dunn 5-3 tonight. After a disappointing couple of defeats in the UK and Bahrain Championship qualifiers it looked like being a third early exit in a row at one stage but importantly for Jamie’s top 16 hopes he managed to turn it around and book a tie with Welshman Ryan Day in China.

Stuart Bingham 2-5 John Parrott 4-85(85), 35-59(47), 124(124)-0, 56-58, 3-60(46), 86(86)-46, 8-73(73)
Dominic Dale 1-5 Gerard Greene 39-73(52), 38-91(44), 85(57)-0, 13-71(39), 13-99(52), 16-97(46)
Mark Williams 5-4 James McBain 63(37)-73, 73(63)-42, 1-57,(48), 60-4, 27-63(41), 64(63)-0, 77-47, 25-65(55), 81(54)-0
Jamie Cope 5-3 Mike Dunn 30-51, 50-60, 77(47)-45, 42-64, 88(49)-25,69(47)-50, 65(53)-45, 113(109)-14
Anthony Hamilton 5-1 Patrick Wallace 21-122(52,70), 100(89)-0, 75(74)-0, 80(68)-0, 77(72)-9, 72(57)-21
Barry Hawkins 0-5 David Gray 57(57)-65(38), 9-80(73), 60(48)-72, 7-73(57), 4-72(60)
Ian McCulloch 3-5 Michael Holt 85(60)-7, 34-77(57), 59(43)-25, 32-68(65), 69(50)-16, 35-62(42), 0-74(64), 44-68(44)
Fergal O’Brien 5-4 Andrew Higginson 54(54)-64(46), 94(45)-10, 0-140(46,94), 68(54)-36, 66-55(39), 37-81(75), 67(66)-4, 29-76(40), 68(60)-17