THE SECOND day of the Wuxi Classic proved a day to forget for some of the world’s top players with both Neil Robertson and Ding Junhui crashing out in the first round.
Last season’s Masters champion Robertson failed to find his best form and suffered a heavy 5-1 defeat to the hands of Scotland’s Jamie Burnett.
Burnett, who reached the final of the Shanghai Masters in 2010, will meet Mark Davis in the last 16 stage after he produced another huge shock beating home favourite Ding Junhui 5-2.
Ding looked to be in control when he took a 2-1 lead over Davis but an 84 break in the fourth frame saw the Englishman draw level at the mid-session interval.
And Davis continued where he left off in the resumption winning the next three frames to book his place in the second round. Though it is early in the season, Ding will have concerns about his form after losing first round matches both here in Wuxi and back in the World Championship in April.
This year’s World Championship runner-up Ali Carter also faced an early exit from the tournament losing 5-3 to Fergal O’Brien. Tied at 3-3, O’Brien then went on to take the next two frames and clinch a last 16 spot where he will meet either Stephen Lee or Marcus Campbell.
And world-number-14 Martin Gould suffered a 5-3 defeat to Jamie Cope in a scrappy encounter at the Wuxi City Sports Park Stadium. Cope will meet Mark Selby in the next round who beat Barry Hawkins yesterday.
Elsewhere, Mark Allen started the season with a convincing 5-1 victory over wildcard entrant Raouzi Maimaiti. This was Allen’s first competitive match in action since being fined £10,000 by World Snooker for his cheating comments during this year’s World Championship.
Asian PTC 1 winner Stuart Bingham continued his winning ways but was given a real test by last season’s China Open champion Peter Ebdon. Bingham edged through 5-4 to book a last 16 spot.
The day also saw the two remaining wildcard round matches being played and both games went all the way producing plenty of excitement.
1997 world champion Ken Doherty came through his match against Lu Ning 5-4 to set up a first round encounter with fellow world champion Shaun Murphy.
But there was no such joy for Michael White after the qualifier lost out in a deciding frame to 14-year-old Zhou Yuelong. The rising Chinese star will play Graeme Dott tomorrow for a place in the last 16.