Mark Allen became the second player to win a best-of-seven frame match with four consecutive century breaks as he thrashed Mostafa Dorgham 4-0 on the opening morning of the BetVictor English Open in Brentwood.
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Allen rattled in runs of 104, 127, 114 and 104 as he wrapped up victory in just 51 minutes. He becomes the only player to win a best-of-seven contest with four straight centuries, other than Neil Robertson who did so at the 2013 Ruhr Open. This is the second time that Allen has made four consecutive tons in a match, a feat achieved by only seven other players. The Northern Irishman goes through to face Wu Yize on Tuesday afternoon.
“I couldn’t have been any lower in confidence before I went out to play, I was hitting it sideways on the practice table,” said Allen, who won three ranking titles last season. “(Coach) Chris Henry was standing next to me and we were actually laughing about how far I was missing the balls by. It just shows the importance of going out with the right mindset, because I didn’t let that practice session get to me. My performance was pretty flawless.
“I have been low on confidence but I know I can still play the game. It has been a while since I won a tournament, I haven’t had that winning feeling since that World Grand Prix in January. I am getting found out when I come up against someone who plays very well. I had a good chat with my mental coach Paul Gaffney this morning which really helped, it freed me up.”
Ding Junhui is not expected to appear in any Wallace and Gromit moves but he did arrive in the wrong trousers this morning, before grinding out a 4-3 victory over Ma Hailong. China’s Ding turned up wearing his usual brown snooker suit with bow tie and waistcoat, having forgotten that in the BetVictor Home Nations Series, the dress code is black shirt and black trousers. His friend was quickly despatched to Marks & Spencer on Brentwood High Street to buy the correct uniform.
By the time Ding was ready to play, he was late for the start of the match and had been docked the opening frame. The 14-time ranking event winner then fell 3-1 behind, but battled back to take the last three frames.
“I totally forgot that I needed a black shirt and trousers for this tournament,” admitted 36-year-old Ding. “My memory is not good! I didn’t think about it. Once I was playing I tried to just concentrate on the match. Luckily Ma’s safety was not that good and he gave me enough chances to win.”