Yesterday say the first round exit of Ding Junhui at the hand of Ryan Day but nobody could expect what would happen today at the UK Championship in York.
The morning session went more routinely for the top seeds as firstly Mark Davis (who finds himself in the top 16 for the first time due to the absense of Ronnie O'Sullivan and the suspension of Stephen Lee) swept aside an underperforming Cao Yupeng 6-1. Also safely through was Shaun Murphy who at first struggled against Rob Milkins but won the last three frames in a row to progress a 6-3 winner.
The afternoon saw the legendary Steve Davis's bid to win a record 7th UK title end in the first round as barring a top run of 85 he generally struggled against Ali Carter and the two-times Crucible finalist eventually came through safely by a 6-2 scoreline. It was however the match on table 1 that drew the most attention between defending champion Judd Trump and Walsall's Mark Joyce.
Trump raced to a 3-1 lead with a break of 103 on the way. The next four were scrappier and shared for Trump to go only one away from victory at 5-2. Former UK quarter-finalist Joyce remained determined and won the next three frames including a break of 57 in the 10th to force the decider.
Both players had a couple chances in the final frame before Trump ended up narrowly missing a yellow in to the middle pocket and his opponent made a calm 49 off it which eventually was enough to give him a famous victory over the world no.1 and set up a last 16 encounter with Carter. Click on the video (courtesy of Sportsbeat) below to see Trump's reaction after the match.
In the evening session it was the 'grudge' match between Mark Allen and Marco Fu that took centre stage on table 1. Former UK finalist Fu hasn't had the greatest season so far but he looked in fine form today to make a 91 break in the first frame. Allen stole the next on the colours before the man from Hong Kong responded superbly, making successive century breaks of 131 and 121 to go 3-1 clear. Allen tried to come back but in the end it was in vain as Fu rattled in breaks of 59 and 61 to clinch a 6-3 victory over the World Open champion.
And lastly it was the turn of the Premier League champion Stuart Bingham who is in the best form of his career so far, he faced up and coming potter Jack Lisowski. The 21-year-old took the first frame before Bingham hit back strong to take a 3-1 lead going in to the interval. After then it was pretty much all one-way traffic as the former Australian Open champion won three out of the next four frames to safely come through 6-2 against Lisowski. The Essex man sets up an exciting 2nd round clash with Stephen Maguire on Tuesday.
Tommorow sees the return of the Belgian Bullet Luca Brecel who stunned Mark King last season to become the youngest ever player to qualify for the World Championship. He takes on Wuxi Classic champion Ricky Walden in the evening.
Here is the draw for the last 16 so far -
|Mark Joyce ||v||Allister Carter |
|M Stevens / Dale||v||Marco Fu |
|Stuart Bingham ||v||Stephen Maguire|
|Graeme Dott ||v||Shaun Murphy |
|M.Williams / King||v||Walden / Brecel|
|Ryan Day ||v||Mark Selby |
|John Higgins ||v||Mark Davis |
|N.Robertson / Ford||v||Barry Hawkins |