DEFENDING champion and world number one Mark Selby has been knocked out of this season’s Shanghai Masters in the first round after a crushing defeat to Jamie Cope.
Selby’s hopes of retaining his Shanghai title fell at the first hurdle after an out-of-sorts performance meant an early exit back home for the Leicester star.
It is the second time this season Selby has been knocked out in the opening round of a major ranking event after losing to Jamie Burnett in the Australian Open more than two months ago.
After the first two frames were shared Cope, who is currently ranked world number 25, regained the lead by clearing from green to black before going 3-1 in front after potting the a deciding final black.
Cope then got to within a single frame of one of his biggest victories since turning professional when he cleared the colours to go 4-1 ahead. Cope then completed a big win in style with a break of 71.
And Selby’s loss was by no means the only shock result in what was a second day full of surprises in Shanghai….
Home favourite Ding Junhui also crashed to a surprising opening round defeat losing a nine-frame thriller to world number 34 Mark King.
It was heartbreak for Ding and his many fans who looked on as King battled back from 3-0 and 4-3 down to take the crucial final two frames to reach the last 16 of the tournament.
King, who reached the semi-finals of this event last season, will now be hoping for a similar run during the coming days.
Elsewhere, Mark Allen began his Shanghai Masters campaign with a comfortable 5-2 win against 14-year-old Lu Haotian, who yesterday pulled off a superb win knocking out Marco Fu in the wildcard round.
In a repeat contest of last season’s China Open final, Stephen Maguire got revenge over Peter Ebdon in a 5-3 win for the Glaswegian. The final frame of match proved controversial with play stopping for at least seven minutes as Ebdon disputed a free ball call made by the referee during a vital part of the frame.
The referee though explained to Ebdon why she had called a free ball to Maguire but Ebdon strongly disagreed. Eventually play resumed with Maguire playing a free ball instead of a red and scraped through to the last 16.
Shaun Murphy was forced to battle hard for his place in the last 16 in his opening round encounter against Dominic Dale. The former world champion had to come through a nervy deciding frame after Dale fought back after trailing 3-0.
2012 World Championship runner-up Ali Carter also had to battle hard for a place in the second round beating Robert Milkins in a deciding frame when at one stage he trailed by 42 points.
The day also saw qualifiers Jimmy Robertson and Fergal O’Brien crash out in the wildcard round losing to Jin Long and Chen Feilong respectively.
Wednesday will see the completion of first round matches take place with the likes of John Higgins and Judd Trump battling it on the green baize.
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