2015 China Open - The 1st three days of cue action

22:06:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

As many of you already know the 2015 China Open edition is already underway, but since the hours are horrendous and made it almost impossible to watch every match, I had to keep a low profile in covering the event on a daily basis.

However, today and today only (pam, pam, paaaam! or words to that effect) I will wrap up the first three days of cue action from Beijing, China by presenting you the highlights of this grandiose tournament that precedes the one and only - World Championship. (Jesus, I get goose bumps just thinking that in 17 days the snooker madness will begin!)

So, without any further ado, here are the highlights of the first three days.

Day One

God created heavens and earth ... errrrm, that's not it, is it? OK, so jokes aside, the first day of the 2015 China Open was a busy, busy one with the wildcards round also taking place.

Neil Robertson was the first big name to leave the competition and qualify as "the shock of the tournament" as he was defeated 5-4 by the Thai Dechawat Poomjaeng.

Although the player from Down Under possessed a pretty good 3-1 lead over his opponent, Dechawat stormed in and not only draw level, but he also put his nose in front, at 4-3.

As expected Robbo forced the decider, but Dechawat made the most of "playing with the colours" and got himself a nice and cozy place into the Last 32.

Great surprise to see local hero Ding Junhui win his first match, for we all know that this season hasn't been the best for him, the Chinese player beating Scotland's Marcus Campbell by a resounding victory of 5-1 ( breaks of 55, 51, 66, 58 and 50 were hit in the process).

Stephen Maguire, the man that still fears his guaranteed spot at the Crucible this year, made a good start also, as he beat Davis Morris by 5-1, while Kurt Maflin defeated "Captain" Ali Carter 5-4 (after being led 4-2) to get a place in the next round.

Chinese players Cao Yupeng and Liang Wenbo, both left the tournament after being defeated by Ricky Walden and Gary Wilson respectively.

Day Two

Not the best of news hit our homes when Mark Selby announced his neck pains were back and were preventing to play awesome snooker. Despite all that, Selby still won by 5-3 over Mark Joyce (after a 3-0 lead).
Snooker fans know that three years ago during the same China Open, Mark accused neck pains and pulled out from the tournament, at home the doctor diagnosing him with a bulging disc. 

This also prevented the current world number one to perform at his best during that year's Sheffield snooker celebration (aka. the World Championship), Selby losing during the first round.

The Leicester player said for Inside-Snooker.com: "It is a worry. Hopefully it isn’t as bad as it was before and is just a muscle strain, but I was getting some pain before the match and I called my physio.

“It is in the same position, but she gave me some exercises to do and that helped. When it happened before I could hardly get down to play the shots, it was like disc bulge."

After just winning the World Grand Prix title, Judd Trump smashed another snooker opponent, this time in the person of Andrew Higginson.

Trump used breaks of 100 and 58 to go 2-0 and despite Andrew's 106 in frame three, the Bristolian answered with a 101 clearance to go 3-1 up at the interval.

Higginson managed to draw level after the mini-break (runs of 51 and 48), but Trump closed the deal with break of 61, 40 and 67.

Mark Williams continued his good run and got a pretty comfortable victory of 5-2 in front of Zhao Xintong, while Shaun Murphy hammered Jamie Cope 5-1, although the first part of the match was a bit scrappy.

Day Three

It is said that the best present one could get is the one one makes for oneself (I think I just murdered the English grammar there) and that's exactly what Ding Junhui did on his birthday. He beat Mark Davis 5-1.

Ding used runs of 44 and 86 to go 3-0 up before Davis could have a chance to disturb the balls and win his first (and only) frame of the match just before the interval kicked off.

When returning into the arena, the Chinese player continued his dominance and sealed his victory quite rapidly in order to set a meeting with Mark Williams who beat Michael Leslie 5-0 earlier today.

At a near table John Higgins was displaying his snooker skills by facing fellow country-man Graeme Dott, whom he beat by 5-2, a victory that comes after a 5-3 scoreline obtained in front of China's Yu DeLu yesterday.

Judd Trump knocked down Peter Ebdon almost effortlessly by a 5-1 scoreline (brilliant 127 clearance at the end of the match), while Stephen Maguire cruised into the Last 16 after a tight 5-4 victory obtained by playing against Welshman Ryan Day.

Mark Selby's neck pain seemed not so troubling today, the Englishman whitewashing Elliot Slessor 5-0 and declaring after the match: "It hasn't gone completely, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was a few years ago. 

With a bit more rest, hopefully I'll be fine." 

Shaun Murphy and Robert Milkins both qualified for at least one more match here at the China Open, after winning with the same 5-4 scoreline by facing Anthony McGill and Zak Surety.

The cue action continues tomorrow with the Last 16 matches. The order of play can be consulted here.