China Open 2011 - Day 2 (part II)

23:40:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Ding Junhui makes a remarkable comeback
A truly wonderful day here in Beijing, where almost all of the last four matches of the second day ended on a decider. Amazing comebacks, tension, pressure and top class snooker, were the main ingredients that made winners out of Ding Junhui, Li Hang, Shaun Murphy and Marcus Campbell.

One of the most entertaining and dramatic matches of the day was the one between Ding Junhui and Kurt Maflin. Such a blast it was!
The Englishman based in Oslo was the one who broke the ice as he took over the first frame, but Ding leveled up very quickly. Still, this year’s Masters` champion was going to be kept in his seat for some time, because Kurt was in such a great form and started hitting the balls. He won the next three frames, by firing in breaks of 43, 103 and 99 to set the score at 4-1. He was soooo close to victory, sooo close!
Something happened (well, most likely the fear of losing happen) and Ding stormed in as to hit in runs of 133, 117, 52 and 51 and force the match into a decider. It was insane! :-))
Unfortunately for Maflin he couldn’t start all over again and since Ding was practically on fire, with the entire crowd by his side, he hit a 65 to secure himself a place in the Last 16. Thrilling match!

Shaun Murphy in action
The next match to have its faith decided by the last frame was the battle between Graeme Dott and Li Hang and one more time the Chinese wildcard eliminated a former world champion.
A break of 81 was bringing Hang the first frame, Dott hit a 52 to level the match at 1-1, but that wasn’t going to be enough, as the Chinese rival hit in runs of 117 and 37 to set the score at 3-1 in his favor. But the Scotsman didn’t give up so easily so he win the next frame with a bit of help from an 80 break to reduce the gap at 3-2. Seeing that "you don’t mess with Dott", Li stunned the audience with a perfect 133 as to go just one step away from victory, but that wasn’t going to happen so soon, as Graeme was trying to make his life harder.
Two frames were captured by Dott with a top break of 64, but that last 71 that Hang threw into the match, was going to give him the victory.

Shaun Murphy v. Joe Perry match was the one that made the difference, mainly because it was the only one that didn’t end on a decider, although there were plenty of occasions for that to happen.
The first part of this snooker encounter was dominated by Perry who succeeded in leading Murphy 3-1 before the mid-session interval kicked off, breaks of 51, 49 and 68 making that possible. Buuuut things don’t stay the same for long in snooker and after the break Murphy made his comeback.

Joe Perry leaves the competition, but he`s on for the WC
A steady break of 71 was giving the Smurf a bit of confidence to start the battle, while a 56 and an 89 were putting him in the lead for the first time! Last frame saw Perry trying to make use of a 50, but sadly for him Murphy’s runs of 33 and 34 closed the match in his favor 5-3.

Last match to pick his winner and send him to the Last 16 was the one were Mark Allen and Marcus Campbell were the main actors.
The boys shared frames all the way through frame six, when a 74 was giving Campbell a two points advance 4-2, but that won’t last very long because Allen hit a marvelous 95 as to go just one point behind his opponent and a 56 in order to bring the match into a decider.
The last frame was a very scrappy affair, but in the end the one who survived it was the Scotsman Campbell.

Tomorrow we shall continue out quest to "collect" more winners and set the complete line-up for the Last 16 round:

From 07:30 (UK time)
John Higgins v. Nigel Bond
Marco Fu v. Judd Trump
Ali Carter v. Stuart Bingham
Peter Ebdon v. Gerard Greene

From 12:30 (UK time)
Ronnie O'Sullivan v. Ryan Day
Mark Selby v. Tian Pengfei
Jamie Cope v. Robert Milkins
Ricky Walden v. Martin Gould

TV coverage:
07:30 - 10:30 British EuroSport 2 (live)
07:45 - 10:45 British EuroSport (live)
12:00 - 12:30 British Eurosport
12:30 - 15:45 British EuroSport (live)
15:45 - 16:45 British EuroSport