Shanghai Masters: Wildcards fall to former World Champions

The Shanghai Masters got under way without any major upsets happening in the first session of the wildcard matches.  Of the 4 wildcards in action early on, only one of them was to gain a victory, former main tour player Tian Pengfei.

Afternoon Session


Andrew Higginson 1-5 Tian Pengfei
98 (36,37)-5, 0-80 (74), 0-128 (38, 90), 18-101 (101), 0-90 (56), 22-75 (48)
Marcus Campbell 5-1 Tang Jun
60 (36)-14, 51 (46)-71, 69 (45)-20, 72-28, 70-39, 88 (66)-1
Ken Doherty 5-0 Aditya Mehta
83 (33)-19, 101 (63)-31, 129 (129)-0, 103 (32,39)-17, 66-45
Graeme Dott 5-2 Mohammed Shehab
90 (60)-1, 22-56 (45), 102 (101)-0, 71 (64)-21, 31-66, 89 (55)-19, 46-66(45), 92 (56, 36)-0

Well done to Tian Pengfei who was perhaps the only surprise winner this morning.  In what looked to be a very impressive performance against Andrew Higginson that included a century break and three other breaks over 50, Tian booked himself a place in the main draw and will now face Ali Carter.  Who knows what could happen in that match if Tian continues this impressive start and the Captain continues to play below his high standard in the Far East.

Sadly for the home fans and those looking for an upset or two, this was as good as it got so far.  Former World Champion Ken Doherty continued his recent good form with a convincing 5-0 defeat of India’s Aditya Mehta.  Ken looked to have only been pushed close in the final frame of the match and also made a century break so appears to be cueing well.  Ken will now face Neil Robertson and will look to cause his own upset and continue to gain some much needed ranking points.

In the other match containing a former World Champion, Graeme Dott was made to work hard for his 5-3 victory over Mohammed Shehab from the UAE.  Whilst Dott led 3-1 at the interval thanks to two breaks of 60 and above along with a century break, Shehab refused to give in.  He pulled back to 3-2 and then kept the match alive by winning a close 7th frame only for Dott to get over the line with a comfortable final frame.

The TV match was Marcus Campbell versus Tang Jun.  Tang is the player who defeated Judd Trump in the wildcard round of the 2009 China Open and must have fancied his chances against Campbell.  In what was truth be told a scrappy match, Marcus was the one who always seemed to have the upper hand.  I’m sure he will be keen to improve on his performance here, but he can take a positive from his closing break of 66 to seal the win.

I am not sure why this ended up being the TV match as from looking at the other matches that were played, they seemed to be a far higher quality than this one with players more likely to attract a bigger viewing audience.  It is hard to believe from Tang’s showing this morning that this is the player that beat Judd Trump in Beijing.  All in all, it was a pretty scrappy match but both players are capable of a higher standard and perhaps a wildcard round match isn’t the best place to judge someone’s form.  Despite neither player looking particularly comfortable in the balls there were some cracking single ball pots from both players throughout.

Evening Session


Liang Wenbo v David Gilbert
Nigel Bond v Yu De Lu
Gerard Greene v Li Yan
Matthew Selt v Shi Hanqing