World number 75 Jak Jones recorded a shock 6-2 defeat of three-time World Champion Mark Williams to reach the last 32 of the International Championship in Daqing.
Welshman Jones had lost all three of his previous meetings with legendary compatriot Williams. However, it was Jones who looked more at ease in today’s clash and his win sets up a meeting with Robert Milkins in the next round.
22-time ranking event winner Williams did take the opening frame. However, Jones made breaks of 95 and 118 on his way to claiming six of the next seven to progress.
“Mark is probably the most successful Welsh player ever so to beat him is a really good win,” said Jones. “Hopefully I can be the same as players like Mark and Matthew Stevens in the future and be as successful as them. Obviously Matthew has started playing well again now and it is good for the game that the Welsh players have started playing better.”
2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy came through a dramatic deciding frame on the final black to defeat talented Chinese teenager Yuan Sijun 6-5.
Murphy is in need of a strong showing this week in Daqing, with it being the final event before the cut off for Shanghai Masters qualification. The Magician is currently ranked 15th in the provisional seedings, with the world’s top 16 gaining a place.
His spot in the elite 16 has come under threat after a dip in form last term and Murphy will be hoping today’s thrilling win can kick start a revival for him.
Triple Crown winner Murphy had trailed 4-2 and 5-4, before forcing a final frame where a clearance of 32 was required to come from behind and snatch victory on the last ball.
Murphy said: “It was unbelievable for a last 64 game. He played like a regular tournament winner. I was sat there thinking about what I was going to say afterwards when he was ahead. He played fabulously well. He played great snooker, he scored well and was clinical in the balls. I’m not really sure how I’ve won that game.
“After last season I need a good week every week. I’m used to needing to play well. Unfortunately I can do nothing about the ranking list. All I can do is prepare well for each game. It is a bit of a cliché, but all I can control is what I do out there and my attitude.
“Last year was the worst of my life. It is my job to try and turn that around. It is one match at a time, one ball at a time, one break at a time. I come to these tournaments to try and win them. I’m not here to make the numbers up.”
Defending champion Mark Allen booked his last 32 place with a 6-1 demolition of Sam Craigie.
Allen lifted the title last year after a 10-5 win over Neil Robertson in the final. He remained in the hunt for another Daqing title courtesy of today’s win over Craigie, which included breaks of 66, 141 and 66.
World Champion Judd Trump is still in the running for silverware on his first appearance of the season, thanks to a 6-2 win over China’s Zhang Anda. While Asian number one Ding Junhui overcame Zhao Xintong 6-4.
Three-time Crucible winner Mark Selby progressed after a 6-3 win over Liam Highfield and Riga Masters winner Yan Bingtao beat compatriot Chang Bingyu 6-3.
For full results click here.