Williams, Robertson And Allen Into Round Two
Mark Williams, Neil Robertson and Mark Allen were among the day two winners at the 19.com English Open, with the top 12 seeds all through to the last 64 in Crawley.
World number three Williams scored a 4-2 win over fellow Welshman Jamie Clarke. After sharing the first four frames, Williams trailed 30-0 in the fifth, but came back to take it and then clinched victory in style in frame six with a 142 total clearance, the highest break of the tournament so far. He now faces Michael Holt.
“It could have gone either way, there were some close frames,” said three-time World Champion Williams, who was runner-up to Shaun Murphy at the recent China Championship. “It was scrappy though I finished it off well. I haven’t practised properly for the past year so I don’t deserve any results, how I got to the final of the last tournament I don’t know. I’ve got to get back to the practice table.”
Robertson needed just 52 minutes to beat Kishan Hirani 4-0 with breaks of 75, 71, 118 and 85.
“I stamped my authority on the match from the start and played nearly perfect snooker,” said Australia’s Robertson, who now meets Marco Fu. “I punished his mistakes and enjoyed the game.”
World number four Robertson has received plenty of joshing from his peers after driving to the wrong Barnsley for a qualifying match earlier this month.
“I was in the right postcode tonight so that was a good start,” smiled Robertson. “Joe Perry is convinced I was actually sitting at home and I made the whole thing up. I’d have to be a Hollywood script writer to make up a story like that.
“I have learned my lesson – when I set out for Crawley today I made sure I had the right postcode and I checked there is only one K2 venue in the town.”
Allen stepped up a gear from 2-2 against James Wattana to win the last two frames for a 4-2 scoreline. Breaks of 125 and 87 helped The Pistol set up a second round match with Andy Lee.
World number 14 Stephen Maguire (the 13th seed as John Higgins did not enter) was the highest ranked player to lose in the opening round. He lasted just 45 minutes against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, the fastest player on the tour, who fired breaks of 86, 65, 117 and 75 in a 4-0 success.
Iran’s Hossein Vafaei edged out Germany’s Simon Lichtenberg 4-3, making a 42 clearance in the decider to win on the final black.
Jack Lisowski top scored with 79 in a 4-1 win over Jackson Page, while Kyren Wilson saw off Liang Wenbo with a top run of 95.
Scott Donaldson suffered a 4-3 defeat against China’s Zhao Xintong in cruel circumstances. In the deciding frame, Donaldson led 64-0 with five reds left when he potted a red, but accidentally knocked the blue in. That left Zhao 59 behind with 59 on the table and he cleared to force a respotted black, which he potted to secure an unlikely victory.
China’s 17-year-old Bai Langning top scored with 94 as he enjoyed a 4-2 win over Jimmy White; a player 40 years his senior. Sussex’s Mark Davis was runner-up last year but this time he suffered a first round exit, losing 4-2 to Graeme Dott.
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