Shanghai Masters 2011 - Day 2

03:47:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

The Smurf doesn't give up that easily
With the wild cards out of the tournament, what some would call "the proper event" has started. Northern-Ireland's Mark Allen, the youngster Jamie Cope and the one and only Ronnie O'Sullivan were among those who put quite a show in the first round of this year's Shanghai Masters.

Although Mark Allen started with a huge deficit, being lead by Ryan Day 2-0, the proud of Northern-Ireland found the strength to close the first interval at 2-2 and the match at 5-2. The Welsh Dragon's flight was brought down by "Pistol" Allen's consecutive five bullets. No escape from there.

No winning song for Dominic Dale
At the near table, Shaun Murphy was taking on another Welshman, this time Dominic Dale and the history would repeat itself. Even though Dale started with a perfect 128 break and made his way though the balls as to go 4-1 up, Murphy didn't lose his faith and started a terrific comeback. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Smurpf wasn't playing at his best, but still he managed to fulfil his wish as to force a decider by hitting in runs of 40 and 45. Yep, there wasn't any half century coming from his cue, but that didn't matter for Dale was now under pressure. The decider seemed like the perfect time for Murphy to work some magic and so the match ended in his favour, 5-4. To be lead 4-1 and to succeed a full comeback ... now, that's commitment and determination. Hats off for the "Magician".

Ronnie wins his first round match effortless
But one of the biggest surprises was the early exit that the defending champion Ali Carter experienced. He and Mark King consumed all the needed frames to end on a final 5-4 result, result that pushed King through the Last 16 and Carter out of the tournament. It seems like the Chinese tournaments don’t hang on too much on their defending champions: see the 2010 China’s Open champion Mark Williams who lost his first match against Stephen Lee.

The last match of the morning session was the one given between Fergal O'Brien and Peter Ebdon. It was a tiring match that lasted about five hours. And although the boys shared frames until 3-3, the Irishman speculated the perfect opportunity to put his nose in front at 4-3 and then closed the deal with a 5-3 scoreline. 

Not a good day for Wattana
As the second session of the day kicked off the "Rocket" Ronnie O'Sullivan walked into the arena to face his opponent, the Thai James Wattana. I must confess that I thought James would put Ronnie into all sorts of trouble, because I know he can do it, but for a reason or another he didn't seem to keep his focus long enough. He only managed to win a frame, the remaining five being all cashed by O'Sullivan with breaks of 76, 111, 110 and 97. A very clear victory for a "I really enjoy playing snooker these days" player! 

Jamie Cope had an extraordinary run against Jack Liswoski. The world's number 18 rushed in as to take the lead 4-1 before Jack's intent of coming back into the game. It was a great effort that was sustained by runs of 60 and 32, but not enough to force the decider. With a prefect 77 Cope ended Lisowski's Shanghai dream at 5-3.

Mark Selby manages to get a spot into the Last 16
Scotland's Stephen Maguire and the mighty "Sheriff of Pottingham" Anthony Hamilton tested one another by taking turns on who wins the next frame. They shared the glory, the tension and the pressure of having to go all the way to the last frame, a frame that was easily taken by Hamilton with a wonderful 112. I must say that the Englishman hit no more than three centuries: 129, 104 and 112 and if after the wild card round he was the one with the highest break, now he’s broken down his own record after hitting that 129. You go, sheriff! :-)

Saving the best for last, or should I say the "longest" for last, we have the cue battle that was given between Mark Selby and Nigel Bond. It wasn't a pretty picture to see the recent 2011Paul Hunter Classic struggle, but in the end it didn’t seem to matter for he still managed to cash the victory with a 5-3 scoreline. After quite some time, though … awfully long match!

Here are Day 2 results:

07:30 (UK time)
1. Ali Carter 4-5 Mark King
5. Shaun Murphy 5-4 Dominic Dale
6. Mark Allen 5-2 Ryan Day
2. Peter Ebdon 3-5 Fergal O'Brien

12:45 (UK time)
3. Ronnie O'Sullivan 5-1 James Wattana
8. Mark Selby 5-3 Nigel Bond
4. Stephen Maguire 4-5 Anthony Hamilton
7. Jamie Cope 5-3 Jack Lisowski

Today's match schedule looks something like this:

07:30 (UK time)
16. John Higgins v. Mark Davis
9. Mark Williams v. Andrew Higginson
15. Judd Trump v. Stuart Bingham
14. Graeme Dott v. Michael Holt

12:45 (UK time) 
12. Ding Junhui v. Martin Gould
13. Neil Robertson v. Liang Wenbo
10. Stephen Hendry v. Robert Milkins
11. Matthew Stevens v. Stephen Lee

TV programme:
08:00 - 10:30 British EuroSport (LIVE)
12:45 - 15:00 British EurpSport 2 (LIVE)
20:30 - 22:30 British EuroSport 2