Ding Junhui’s struggles to perform on home soil continued as he suffered a shock first round defeat on Day 3 of the China Open.
The Chinese star suffered a 5-3 defeat to Barry Hawkins as his chances to lift his second China Open title this year went up in smoke.
But Hawkins, enjoying one of his best seasons of his career, proved too hot for Ding as a deserved win saw him book a second round clash against Stephen Maguire.
Hawkins raced into a 4-0 lead before Ding won the next three frames to mount a serious comeback. But it was this season’s Australian Open winner who sealed the match by winning frame eight and leaving Ding to pack his cue early once again.
This is not the first time Ding has struggled on his homeland this season. Infact the highest stage he has got to in a major ranking event based in China this season is the quarter-finals of the World Open held last month.
In the Shanghai Masters in October Ding suffered a first round defeat to Mark King and in the first ever International Championship the two times Masters Champion could only reach the last 16 stage before losing to Shaun Murphy.
Ding’s exit proved to be the only shock in what was a straight-forward day of action in Beijing with the top seeds advancing to the last 16 stage.
Mark Selby was denied a brilliant 147 maximum break when he missed the final black off its spot in the middle of a 5-1 win against Mark King.
The UK and Masters champion will meet Ricky Walden in the next round who beat former world champion Ken Doherty 5-2.
Mark Davis, who is battling to secure a guaranteed spot in next month’s World Championship, did his cause no problem in beating Dechawat Poomjaeng to set up a second round clash with Tuesday’s star Jack Lisowski.
Neil Robertson thrashed namesake Jimmy 5-0 to set up a last 16 meeting with World Open winner Mark Allen who strolled to a comfortable win over Anthony McGill in a 5-1 win.
Welshman Mark Williams got a valuable win after struggling with form in recent times – he beat Lyu Haotian 5-2 and will meet Ali Carter for a place in the last eight.
And Stuart Bingham ended Liang Wenbo’s chances of impressing on home turf with a battling 5-3 win. Next up for Bingham is Robert Milkins who knocked out John Higgins in the first round.
Day 4 of the competition sees all the second round matches take place as the remaining 16 players bid to reach the quarter finals.
China Open 2013 – Last 16 Draw:
Marcus CAMPBELL vs Graeme DOTT
Mark ALLEN vs Neil ROBERTSON
Stephen MAGUIRE vs Barry HAWKINS
Stuart BINGHAM vs Robert MILKINS
Jack LISOWSKI vs Mark DAVIS
Rory McLEOD vs Shaun MURPHY
Mark WILLIAMS vs Ali CARTER
Ricky WALDEN vs Mark SELBY