Haikou World Open 2012 (Day 1) - The wildcard round

00:50:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Busy, busy day here in the idyllic Hainan province at Haikou where the World Open tournament is taking place. 

The very much disputed wildcard round ended with the Asian players knocking down two of the snooker performers that travelled half across the globe after qualifying for the event, Sam Baird and Nigel Bond not being able to prevail the force of their opponents.

The 23-year-old lad from Uffculme, known to the large public by the name of Sam Baird, saw his Chinese dream being crushed right from the beginning, his opponent Jin Long taking care of that with a final 5-3 scoreline that implied breaks of 50 and 60.
So after winning no less than four matches to get a ticket to Haikou World Open, Baird is forced to pack his bags and head back home.

The same can be said about a more experienced player, Nigel Bond not managing to using his "007" contacts in China and getting beaten in a decider 5-4 by Lu Ning after a very hard-fought match.

On a more happier note though, Joe Perry succeed in performing the first whitewash of this tournament, Rouzi Maimaiti being his victim, after the Pink Army member made the most of each chance he got and each mistake his baize rival committed.

Perry performes the first whitewash of the tournament
Michael Holt seemed to have the match under control when he easily flew at 3-0 (breaks of 101 and 135 hit in the process) by playing Zhu Yinghui, when all of the sudden the Chinese player started his comeback. 

Holty put his nose in front once more at 4-3, but Zhu levelled with a 69 break.
However, the PTC 10 champion would use a brilliant 101 break during the next frame to close the deal at 5-4.

Using all the nine-frames-munitions, Tom Ford and Lu Haotian engaged in a  genuine battle of cues with the PTC 11 winner being initially lead 3-0. Still, he managed to fight against the Chinese player who has had his birth certificate for only 14 years and pulled back a frame just as the interval kicked off.

Maimaiti suffers an early exit
After the break he was careful enough to draw level and not give his hopes up when Lu took control of the match again, this time at 4-3. Ford turned the scoreline into a draw with an 80 break and forced a decider that he would win fair and square.

Other important victories were obtained by Robert Milkins who had to face the Thai Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon whom he beat by 5-3, but also by Mark King who applied a 5-2 treatment on Iran's Hossein Vafaei and Jimmy Robertson who saw off  Zhou Yuelong by the same scoreline.

Below you can check Day 1 list or results:

1 Sam Baird 3-5 Jin Long
2 Robert Milkins 5-3 Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon
3 Mark King 5-2 Hossein Vafaei
4 Tom Ford 5-4 Lu Haotian

5 Jimmy Robertson 5-2 Zhou Yuelong
6 Joe Perry 5-0 Ruozi Maimaiti
7 Michael Holt 5-4 Zhu Yinghui
8 Nigel Bond 4-5 Lu Ning

The second day of the Haikou World Open means that the snooker stars are invading the arena, so you better clear your schedule because:

9 John Higgins v. Marco Fu
21 Shaun Murphy v. Ricky Walden
13 Graeme Dott v. Barry Hawkins

11 Ding Junhui v. Jin Long
20 Judd Trump v. Andrew Higginson
23 Stuart Bingham v. Michael Holt
15 Stephen Lee v. Dominic Dale

*all hours are UK time

TV coverage:
07:00 - 09:30 British EuroSport (LIVE)
11:30 - 14:30 British EuroSport (LIVE)
19:00 - 21:05 British EuroSport
21:30 - 23:30 British EuroSport 2