World number 11 Ricky Walden suffered a surprise 4-0 defeat against China’s Cao Yupeng in the last 64 of the Haining China Leather City Asian Tour event.
Cao top scored with 54 as he set up a match with Ryan Day. “Neither of us played well and I haven’t been practising much recently,” said Cao. “I knew I wasn’t able to score heavily against Ricky so I tried to play a better tactical game. The opening frame was vital. I got in first, then he could have cleared up but he left the last red over the pocket. Once I was 3-0 up I didn’t leave him any chances and my safety worked. I think I’ve found some form for my next match against Ryan Day.
“I didn’t qualify for Chengdu so the Haining Open is the one I’m focussing on. It’s a pity that I can’t play in Chengdu. I was ranked 41 a couple of months ago but now I’m 51. Every tournament is important as the rankings can change significantly – there’s a chance I could drop out of the top 64 by the end of the season.
“I’m not bothered who I play, I will have a chance to win because it’s the nature of the game. It’s more about playing yourself, not your opponent. If you play to your best you can beat anyone, that’s my theory. ”
Mike Dunn saw off two-time World Champion Mark Williams 4-0 with a top break of 61 and said: “I’ve played Mark twice before and beaten him, but there’s no denying he’s one of the greatest to play the game. I’m obviously delighted with the way I played. I’ve had a difficult time lately with my back. I’ve been diagnosed with a twisted spine and I’ve got a disc popping out, so I had two or three days in bed last week before I came here. I really I didn’t have any expectations but I’m trying my best. I don’t really feel any pressure, I just wanted to play freely. It just felt quite easy out there – maybe because I didn’t feel a lot of pressure, apart from the last frame.
“I’ve had a good start to the season. Getting to the semi-finals of the China Open last season has given me a lot of confidence. I love coming to China, I love playing here and it’s nice to show what I’m capable of.”
Home favourite Ding Junhui beat China’s 2012 National Junior Champion Zhang Yong 4-2, and will now face Barry Pinches. Ding said: “He played well up until 2-2. Sometimes my scoring broke down on 30 or 40 and left him the table, but he failed to control the cue ball well. I kept my concentration but felt a bit rusty out there. It’s good to have this kind of rhythm to keep me in form.”
Performance of the day came from veteran Jimmy White who thrashed Dechawat Poomjaeng 4-0. The Whirlwind fired in breaks of 43, 45, 78 and 136 as his opponent scored just 25 points in the match.