THE SECOND day of this season’s Australian Open produced a big surprise after defending champion Stuart Bingham was knocked out in the first round.
Qualifier Matt Selt came from 4-3 down to beat last year’s winner in a thrilling final frame decider and set up a second round match with Welshman Ryan Day.
Two contributions in the deciding frame helped the world-number-41 end Bingham’s title defence at the very first hurdle and sent the Basildon man home packing his bags.
The shock results did not stop there as youngster Cao Yupeng continued to show his potential beating this year’s World Championship finalist Ali Carter 5-3.
The 21-year-old started brightly and was heading for a whitewash win when he raced into a 4-0 lead – which no one would have expected before the match. But Carter, like he did at the Crucible earlier this year, showed his true fighting spirit on the baize and won the next three frames to reduce his deficit to just a single frame at 4-3.
Carter was in the balls again in the eighth frame but a missed black on its spot proved crucial and let the young potter in to take full advantage and in doing so booked his place in the last 16 stage where he will play either Martin Gould or former world champion Ken Doherty.
Sheffield’s Shaun Murphy claimed a much-needed victory but had to do it the hard way after Wuxi Classic semi-finalist Marcus Campbell pushed him all the way in Bendigo.
A full distance match never seemed likely when the 2005 world champion had taken a commanding 4-1 lead but the Glaswegian produced a stunning fightback winning the next three frames.
Murphy though, much to his relief, managed to pull himself together and win the all important deciding frame to scrape through to the second round.
Elsewhere, World Snooker’s Six Reds champion Mark Davis continued his fine form with a 5-2 win against qualifier Jack Lisowski to set up a last 16 with Australian Neil Robertson, who comfortably beat Nigel Bond yesterday.
Last season’s China Open champion Peter Ebdon survived a brave fightback from Nottingham’s Michael Holt to earn a 5-4 win. And Marco Fu sealed a last 16 spot with an impressive 5-1 win over Joe Perry.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) will see the likes of Mark Selby and Ding Junhui kick off their Australian Open campaigns and we will know the first two quarter finalists with Stephen Lee taking on Jamie Cope and Shaun Murphy playing Tom Ford in the night’s last 16 matches.