Chinese number one Ding Junhui put on a blistering display to sweep aside compatriot Niu Zhuang 4-0 on day one of the BetVictor Scottish Open .
Ding stormed to victory this afternoon, remarkably only conceding two points in the process. Both of those came in the first frame, following which Ding went on a run of 437 unanswered points to get over the finish line.
The 13-time ranking event winner produced a barrage of breaks throughout, firing in contributions of 105, 66, 93 and 134 on his way to the victory.
Ding faces a battle to secure his place at February’s World Grand Prix in Cheltenham. With the top 32 on the one-year list qualifying, he currently lies in 31st position. The series then progresses, as the top 16 gain entry to the Players Championship and only the best eight players of the season qualify for the brand new Tour Championship.
Ding said: “My position on the one-year list isn’t very good at the moment. I need to try and win some matches and make sure I get into the top 32. I will try to enter some more tournaments, practise harder and see what happens.
“Today was a very good performance against another Chinese player. I played very aggressively and didn’t miss any balls. It felt good.”
Top Scottish star John Higgins overcame a broken rib to secure his place in the last 64 with a narrow 4-3 win over amateur Adam Duffy.
Higgins led this evening’s match 2-0, before eventually being pegged back by Duffy, who forced a deciding frame. The Scot then ultimately got himself over the line with a the help of a break of 53.
“I wouldn’t have played if it wasn’t here in Glasgow. There isn’t far to travel,” said Higgins. “I was out watching the Scottish League Cup football final a couple of weeks ago when I hurt my rib.
“It would be amazing if I could go far, but I really don’t think I will get much further in this event. Adam played well today and potted a few good balls, but he missed some crucial ones so I was lucky.”
Higgins’ fellow Scots Stephen Maguire and Anthony McGill succumbed to disappointing defeats. Maguire was beaten 4-1 by Billy Castle, while McGill exits after a 4-2 loss against China’s Zhang Yong.
Defending champion Neil Robertson got his campaign underway with a 4-1 defeat of Peter Lines.
Australia’s 2010 World Champion made breaks of 88, 63 and 67 on his way to this afternoon’s victory.
Shaun Murphy top scored with a break of 101 in his 4-1 victory over Sunny Akani and Ali Carter whitewashed Luo Honghao 4-0 to progress.