China Open Qualifiers 2010: Day Four News

At the time of writing we have already seen five seeded players crash out of the China Open with several others still in danger, click below to find out who has managed to book their flight to Beijing…

Click here to view the draw.

Click here to see the full day’s results at Global Snooker.

Chinese number two Liang Wenbo may have reached his first career ranking event final on home soil at the start of the season but there will be no repeat in Beijing as he was defeated by former Welsh Open finalist Andrew Higginson. It was an high quality affair which looked like it might go either way with the two level at the mid-session interval, but from there it was one-way traffic as Andrew compiled breaks of 95, 73 and 71 to progress. It is another excellent result for Higginson who having experienced a tough couple of years since that Newport final has now won eight matches this season to leave himself inside the provisional top 32 for the first time. For Liang meanwhile the result is a significant blow to his hopes of breaking into the top 16 at the end of the season and means that he will probably have to win at least one match during the season-ending World Championship to make sure.

The same will also apply for Ricky Walden who suffered a very surprising 5-2 defeat to Rod Lawler this morning. Early in the match it seemed like Ricky was in good form as breaks of 99 and 85 put him 2-1 in front but Rod hung in there and won the next four frames to complete a famous victory and qualify for the venue stage for the second successive year.

Bjorn again

Welshman Matthew Stevens was a player hoping for a strong run to the end of the season but his hopes of reclaiming a place amongst the top 16 were dealt a blow tonight as he suffered a surprising defeat to Belgian number one Bjorn Haneveer. Since returning to the tour Bjorn has enjoyed a solid if not spectacular season but this run has put him right back into contention for a place in the top 64 at the end of the season and will remind people that Luca Brecel is not the only Belgian talent in the game.

Bjorn was not the only tour returnee to win today as both Tony Drago and James Wattana recorded brilliant victories over Stephen Lee and Joe Swail respectively to qualify for the venue stage of the event. The result is particularly impressive for Wattana and marks his first last 32 run since the same tournament back in 2007.

Another familiar face could not join Tony and James however as Ken Doherty was defeated for the second successive ranking event tournament by 2007 China Open winner Graeme Dott. After his brilliant performance yesterday Ken could no repeat that form tonight as Dott produced the bigger breaks to see him through.

Speaking of bigger breaks, Judd Trump produced a very impressive run of scoring with breaks of 114, 100, 77 and 65 to end the run of Tom Ford this morning. Having seen Tom play so well during his last eight matches at Pontin’s Judd must have known that he would have to produce a performance like this in order to qualify and he duly delivered!