THE OPENING day of this year’s China Open has sprung up several surprise results as two qualifiers and a top 16 player faced early exits in Beijing.
World ranked number 12 player Martin Gould lost to former China Open runner-up Stephen Hendry in a thrilling deciding frame losing out 5-4.
The Scot will meet Neil Robertson in the last 16 after the Australian, who was sporting a new curly hairstyle, came from 4-3 behind to beat Stoke-on-Trent star Jamie Cope in the one other last 32 encounter which was played today.
Robertson will be eager to mark some sort of revenge on Henry after the seven-times world champion defeated him last month in the Welsh Open.
Meanwhile in the wildcard round, Nottingham’s Michael Holt crashed out of the competition after he was defeated by Li Hang and Welshman Jamie Jones could not follow up his success in the PTC Grand Finals, where he beat John Higgins, as Lu Ning beat him 5-3.
It is the second time this year in which Lu Ning has caused a surprise in a major ranking event. The chinese player beat Nigel Bond in the Haikou World Open last month before giving Mark Selby a mighty scare in his first round defeat to the world number one.
Jimmy White booked his place in the last 32 and set up a clash with UK Championship winner Judd Trump after beating Omar Alkojah and Peter Ebdon came through his wildcard match against 14-year-old Lu Haotian. The 2002 world champion will face Matthew Stevens in the next round.
Also through are Mark King and Ben Woollaston who beat Zhu Yinghui and Chen Feilong respectively in their wildcard round matches.