Ding Edges Shanghai Thriller
Ding Junhui survived a scare on day one of the tenth anniversary Shanghai Masters, to overcome world number 114 Scott Donaldson 5-4.
Donaldson looked set to pick up the biggest scalp of his career so far, as he made breaks of 56 and 42 to move 3-1 in front. Ding responded to level the match, but Donaldson took the seventh frame to go 4-3 ahead.
World Runner-Up Ding forced a decider and got in first with a break of 40. However, it was Donaldson who had the frame at his mercy with just two reds left. He missed a simple black and allowed Ding to ruthlessly clear and complete a comeback win.
Martin Gould succumbed to a shock 5-0 defeat against Chinese 16-year-old Yuan Sijun. It’s the second time Gould has been on the end of a whitewash against the teenager, who beat him by the same scoreline at this year’s China Open.
Sijun made breaks of 111, 65 and 48 on his way to the win. His reward is a clash in the last 32 with World Champion Mark Selby.
Four-time Crucible winner John Higgins had to come back from 3-1 down, to overcome Matthew Selt.
31-year-old Selt made breaks of 55 and 73 as he moved in front. However, Higgins turned the match around with a contribution of 100 in the fifth frame, then a counter clearance of 39 in the sixth. The Scot then claimed the next two frames to clinch a 5-3 win.
“You just need to never give in. I’ll always keep trying and look to make my opponent win the match,” said Higgins. “I’m really happy because at 3-1 it was looking like I’d be flying home tomorrow.”
Liang Wenbo proved to be too strong for wildcard Hu Hao. World number 19 Wenbo made breaks of 80, 76 and 44 as he came through a 5-3 winner. Next up for Wenbo is five-time World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan.