Niu Zhaung pulled off a shock 4-0 whitewash of 2015 World Champion Stuart Bingham to clinch his Kaspersky Riga Masters spot at qualifying in Preston.
China’s Niu is embarking on his second season on the World Snooker Tour, having endured a difficult maiden year. He won only seven matches last term, but is off to the perfect start in 2018/19.
Niu, ranked 108th in the world, won the first two frames on the black and from there eased home to a shock victory.
Scott Donaldson and Noppon Saengkham traded big breaks in their clash, before Scotland’s Donaldson edged through a 4-3 victor.
With Donaldson trailing 2-1 he fired in a sublime run of 137 to draw level at 2-2, only for Saengkham to compose a 137 break of his own to move one from victory at 3-2. However, Donaldson claimed the remaining two frames to secure the tie.
Stephen Maguire looked to be in superb form as he swept to a 4-0 defeat of Michael Judge.
The five-time ranking event winner reached the final of the Riga Masters last season and going by this display Maguire looks to have a great opportunity to go one further this year.
The Scot fired in breaks of 81, 60, 84 and 106 to secure his win in just over an hour.
Neil Robertson defeated China’s recent WSF champion Luo Honghao 4-2 to clinch his spot in Latvia.
The Thunder from Down Under, who was using a new cue for the first time in his career, composed breaks of 65, 65, 123 and 107 on his way to the win.
For full results click here.