DAY FOUR of this year’s China Open saw World Number One Mark Selby withdraw from the competition after suffering a neck injury.
Selby was due to play China’s Ding Junhui today in the last 16 round but announced he was pulling out so he could return home and receive treatment.
The Leicester ace potter told World Snooker: “I’m absolutely gutted to have to pull out and to let down the Chinese fans as I was really looking forward to playing Ding tonight.
But I have been suffering with neck pain and I struggled through my first round match. I don’t want to do any more damage, especially with the World Championship coming up, so I’m going back to the UK to get some treatment. I look forward to coming back to China soon as I love playing here.”
Selby’s withdrawal meant Ding received a bye into the quarter-finals where he will face Ali Carter who beat Lu Ning. Ning could not repeat his heroics of his shock first round win over Shaun Murphy as Carter got the better of him in a tactical match.
Ronnie O’ Sullivan was in impressive form beating Welshman Mark Williams 5-1 and he will play Stephen Maguire in a repeat of February’s German Masters final after the Scot came through a deciding frame in his match against Ricky Walden.
Judd Trump reached the last eight with a 5-3 win over Stuart Bingham despite not playing at his best. The UK Championship winner will take on PTC Grand Finals champion Stephen Lee in what should be a cracking game after the in-form Wiltshire player beat Graeme Dott 5-3.
But it proved to be another poor day for John Higgins. The Scot who is yet to win a trophy all season crashed out of the tournament losing 5-3 to former World Champion Peter Ebdon.
Ebdon will meet Neil Robertson in the quarter finals who today knocked Stephen Henry out of the tournament. Australia’s top player chalked-up four big breaks of 95, 74, 68 and 86 to clinch a last eight spot.