China Open 2012 (Day 1) - Hairstyle, legends and wildcards

18:35:00 Ramona Dragomir 1 Comments

This year's edition of the China Open tournament started in the best possible way, with a very, very curly Neil Robertson and snooker's legends on loose (aka. Jimmy White and Stephen Hendry). 

At the end of the day, only two wildcards survived the test of going through the battles of cues with the qualifiers, Li Hang sending home Michael Holt with a 5-3 result, a result that was also going to be used by Lu Ning in front of Jamie Jones.

It definitely was a good day for both Jimmy White and Stephen Hendry, one of the world’s greatest cueists succeeding to defeat their opponents and get a place in the next round.

The Whirlwind in action
"The Whirlwind" had to face the Syrian player Omar Alkojah, player that he beat by 5-3. Although he wasn't at his best, White managed to end the first session leading his baize rival by 3-1 using breaks of 57, 32, 38 and 43 but after the break the wildcard started his offensive.

A break of 54 was winning Omar his second frame of the match, while Jimmy was hitting an 80 break (this was actually a failed maximum attempt) during frame six to set foot just one step away from victory. A 64 was buying Omar at least one more frame to play in, as the scoreline was now 4-3 in favour of the Englishman, but White was careful enough to bury any hopes for a decider and ended the match on a 67 break.

Omar Alkojah
Another thrilling match went on between Stephen Hendry and Martin Gould, this time the final scoreline showing that the lads had gone all the way through the last frame, for a 5-4 result.

The one who broke the ice was the Scottish player with a great 135 break, but Gould drew level after the second frame and also took the lead after a twisted third one.

However the interval was finding the boys all squared at two apiece due to Hendry's 86 break, after 15 minutes the seven-time world champion being the one to put his nose in front with a 68 one.

"Vintage" Hendry
It could have gone 4-2 for Hendry if he hadn’t had missed a red as he was on a 21 break, but instead the balance was reinstalled after Martin's runs of 19 and 49. It was 3-3.

One more time Hendry was taking the leadership, this time through breaks of 69 and 34, but as before, Gould was catching up with a 105 to force the decider.

The tension reached its apogee when after runs of 21 and 20 Gould missed a red, this leaving Hendry with a great chance to do some damage. But it wasn't to be. Not this time at least, as the Scottish player stopped his break at just 21 points after missing a red that was sitting along the cushion.

Sadly for Gouldie, his China dream ends here
Hendry returned to his seat knowing he will lose the match from there, but surprise! Just after two shots Martin was missing an incredible red that was bringing Hendry back to the table. 35 points later the scoreline became 5-4 in favour of Hendry. He was the winner.

Another interesting match that ended on a decider was the one given between Neil Robertson and Jamie Cope. A match that saw a very, very curly Robertson and a pretty intense Cope.

Sadly for Robbo his new hairstyle didn't seem to have an influence on his playing, his form being far from good, but the Australian player managed to keep his chin up and took one frame at a time in order to secure himself  a place in the next round.

The battle of cues saw the lads not being separated by more than a frame, Robertson's runs of 66, 25, 43 and 82 getting a series of 34, 40, 21 and 40 as a response from Cope. The last frame was a scrappy affair, but the Aussie managed to prevail in the end.

A very curly Robertson
Mark King ruled in the match he had to play against Zhu Yinghui, runs of 78, 80, 43 and 26 being enough for a 5-3 result, Ben Woollaston hammered Chen Feilong by 5-1, while Peter Ebdon, although having to cope with a pretty good comeback from his opponent, sent off  the 14-years-old wildcard Lu Haotian.

Not so lucky were Jamie Jones and Michael Holt, both players losing by 5-3 to wildcards Lu Ning and Li Hang respectively.

Day one list of results:

21 Neil Robertson 5-4 Jamie Cope
1 Jimmy White 5-3 Omar Alkojah
2 Mark King 5-3 Zhu Yinghui
4 Michael Holt 3-5 Li Hang

22 Martin Gould 4-5 Stephen Hendry
7 Peter Ebdon 5-2 Lu Haotian
5 Ben Woollaston 5-1 Chen Feilong
6 Jamie Jones 3-5 Lu Ning

Tomorrow the action continues with:

17 Mark Selby v. Li Hang
13 Stephen Maguire v. Barry Hawkins
3 Fergal O'Brien v. Jin Long
8 Rory McLeod v. Zhou Yuelong

18 Ding Junhui v. Ben Woollaston
9 Judd Trump v. Jimmy White
12 Graeme Dott v. Mark King
11 Stephen Lee v. Tom Ford
*all hours are UK time

TV coverage:
07:30 - 10:30 British EuroSport (LIVE)
07:30 - 10:30 British EuroSport 2 (LIVE)
12:30 - 15: 30 British EuroSport (LIVE)
12:30 - 15: 30 British EuroSport 2 (LIVE)
19:00 - 21:00 British EuroSport 2
22:15 - 00:15 British EuroSport


Unbroken said...

I support Judd. I hope to defend his first title in a ranking event. A Neil's hair is fantastic :). As I saw him I started to laugh loudly.