China Open 2012 (Day 2) - A blast from the past

19:30:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Trump still in the race for defending his crown
The second day of this year's China Open event offered us a great chance to remember some of snooker's greatest highlights, but also comebacks, legend Jimmy White being responsible for putting on quite a snooker show right there on the green baize, while Ding Junhui performed one of his special comebacks to prevail the battle of cues with the Englishman Ben Woollaston.

Mark Selby showed himself merciless in front of wildcard Li Hang whom he whitewashed 5-0, the same happening with Zhou Yuelong who played against Rory McLeod, while Stephen Maguire seemed to be back on track after hammering Barry Hawkins 5-1.

It wasn't a victorious day for "the Whirlwind" Jimmy White, but it sure was one to be remembered as the legend took on one of snooker's youngest and brightest competitors, Judd Trump. 

White brought back some of that old magic
Although many would have been inclined to think this match will end quick and that Judd will put his opponent in the corner, things couldn't be more different. Jimmy fought and fought well.

Breaks of 65, 122, 24 and 25 brought the lad from Bristol the first three frames, before Jimmy could score in runs of 39 and 20 and win his first frame of the day.
The interval couldn't have come in a more perfect moment, the "Whirlwind" having a quarter of an hour to rethink his comeback.

Frame five saw White with the first chance, but lost position on 43 sadly the safety shot being a poor one, thus Trump coming to clear the table with a great 80 break for a 4-1 scoreline.

But Jimmy didn’t give up. A century break (104) and a 62 were enough to buy the cueist two consecutive frames, while Trump was mostly kept in his seat.

Ding Junhui performed one of his special comebacks
The battle ended though after Trump hit a 73 to close the match on 5-3 final result and continue his quest in defending the Chinese crown he so well deservedly got last yer. 

So, although it might not have been a victory for Jimmy, it sure was one of those rare moments when the fans could see why Jimmy White is such a legend and how much snooker has to give to this man.

If last year during the same tournament Ding Junhui was coming back from being lead 4-1 by qualifier Kurt Maflin and won the match by 5-4, during this year's edition the "Chinese Sensation" outdone himself by performing a great comeback from 4-0 down to win the match 5-4 over Ben Woollaston.

Runs of 61, 49, and 55 were bringing Woollaston an outstanding 4-0 lead in front of the local star Ding Junhui as the mid-session interval was kicking off, but after those magical 15 minutes, things changed and not in the Englishman's best interest.

Ben Woollaston - so close to win the match and yet ...
This year's Welsh Open champion won a scrappy frame five to avoid being whitewashed, but his goal was bolder. He went on to cash another frame with a 64 break and another two to force the decider. The pressure was on.

The pressure was on and the man who knew how to handle it best was the Asian one, a perfect break of 111 points ending Woollaston's suffering at 5-4. 

Ding is meeting with Mark Selby in the next round, a player that he beat during the Welsh Open final, but who also beat him during the recent PTC Grand Finals. So ... what is going to be this time, lads? Especially since it's clear that both of you are on-fire?  (Note: Selby won his match against wildcard Li Hang by 5-0 using breaks of 52, 82, 63 and 139).

A very nice surprise was to see Stephen Maguire regaining some of the form that brought him in the 2012 German Masters final, the Scottish player hammering the Shoot-Out champion, Barry Hawkins 5-1 after firing in runs of 94, 51, 75, 78 and 43.

Selby signing autographs after a comfortable win
The 2006 world champion, Graeme Dott made us remember the match that he and Mark King played in last year World Championship tournament when the same Scottish player was winning over the same Englishman, but by 6-3. This time, it was 5-2, but obtained in the same beautiful and clean manner.

Stephen Lee, the recent winner of the PTC Grand Finals met with an old green baize rival, whom he beat by 4-1 during the 2012 Welsh Open Last 16 round, Tom Ford. And this time the story repeated itself, with the only difference that the final scoreline was 5-1, sustained by top breaks like 86 and 52.

The Irish fans didn't have the chance to see more of their player, Fergal O'Brien engaging in an very long battle of cues against wildcard Jin Long (the irony), battle that ended on a 5-4 result but in favour of the Chinese player.

Day 2 list of results:

17 Mark Selby 5-0 Li Hang
13 Stephen Maguire 5-1 Barry Hawkins
3 Fergal O'Brien 4-5 Jin Long
8 Rory McLeod 5-0 Zhou Yuelong

18 Ding Junhui 5-4 Ben Woollaston
9 Judd Trump 5-3 Jimmy White
12 Graeme Dott 5-2 Mark King
11 Stephen Lee 5-1 Tom Ford

Tomorrow the action continues with:

24 John Higgins v. Rory McLeod
16 Mark Williams v. Jin Long
14 Mark Allen v. Ricky Walden
10 Stuart Bingham v. Joe Perry

15 Ronnie O'Sullivan v. Marcus Campbell
20 Shaun Murphy v. Lu Ning
23 Matthew Stevens v. Peter Ebdon
19 Ali Carter v. Dominic Dale
*all hours are UK time

TV coverage:
07:30 - 10:30 British EuroSport 2 (LIVE)
07:35 - 10:30 British EuroSport (LIVE)
12:30 - 15:30 British EuroSport (LIVE)
12:30 - 15:30 British EuroSport 2 (LIVE)
19:00 - 21:00 British EuroSport 2
22:30 - 00:40 British EuroSport