Roewe Shanghai Masters 2009: Wildcards Confirmed

Further to my post earlier on today, Global Snooker have now confirmed the seven wildcards who will be involved at the Shanghai Masters, as well as their opponents in the draw…

The seven wildcards and their respective opponents are as follows:

  • Tian Pengfei (plays Andrew Higginson)
  • Shi Hanqing (plays Matt Selt)
  • Yu Delu (plays Nigel Bond)
  • Li Yan (plays Gerard Greene)
  • Tang Jun (plays Marcus Campbell)
  • Aditya Mehta (plays Ken Doherty)
  • Mohammed Shebab (plays Graeme Dott)

The most recognisable name here will presumably be former world number 67 Tian Pengfei of China who not only reached the last 32 of the Northern Ireland Trophy back in 2006, but more recently defeated David Gray and Marco Fu in this year’s China Open. Higginson will be favourite to progress but not only is he playing an opponent who will feel very much at home, but it will be Andrew’s first trip out to China and how he will adapt remains to be seen.

Also familiar to keen snooker fans will India’s Aditya Mehta who was one of the 96 professional players on tour during 2008/9. While he could not keep his place on the circuit for a second year, he was not totally outclassed, reaching the third qualifying round of three events including the Grand Prix and could pose a threat to Ken Doherty. Still, I would expect the revitalised Irishman to progress.

Next up are Shi Hanqing and Li Yan, two young players who both competed in the IBSF World U-21 Championship recently before losing out to eventual finalist Soheil Vahedi. In addition Li was also involved in the Shanghai Masters a year ago when he came unstuck against Anthony Hamilton, losing out 5-1.

Marcus Campbell, bidding to set up an all-Scottish clash with Stephen Hendry in the last 32, will have to be on his game meanwhile as he comes up against Tang Jun. Little known before the China Open this year,  Tang managed to inflict a 5-3 defeat upon the promising Judd Trump and it will be interesting to see if he can cause a similar upset here.

Another surprise winner in Beijing this year was Yu Delu, conqueror of Rod Lawler, and he will have another chance to showcase his talents in Shanghai with a match against Nigel Bond.

Finally comes Mohammed Shebab from the United Arab Emirates who recently won the bronze medal at the World Games out in Kaohsiung, as well as finishing third at the IBSF World Championship a couple of years ago in Thailand. In Shanghai he will play Graeme Dott for the right to meet Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last 32.