YOUNG Belgian talent Luca Brecel will not compete in this year’s World Championship after he suffered a shock defeat in his opening qualifying match against Fraser Patrick.
Brecel made the headlines last year by becoming the youngest ever player to play at the Crucible after winning all his four of his qualifying matches.
But the 18-year-old, who reached the quarter-finals of the UK Championship last December, crashed at the very first hurdle this time around as a determined display from Patrick earned him a fully deserved 10-6 win.
Despite winning the opening frame in today’s (Sunday) second session, Brecel could not find his A game as Patrick won five of the next six frames to book a second round clash against Rod Lawler.
Given his impressive run in the UK Championship earlier this season, Brecel will be disappointed to have missed out on another opportunity to perform in a major competition.
The day’s other key game saw pre-qualifier Joe Swail battle his way to knock out India star Pankaj Advani with a 10-8 win.
Paul Davison fought off a strong fightback from pre-qualifier Justin Astley to book his place in the second round. Things looked plain sailing for Davison we he sailed into a 9-5 lead but Astley had other ideas winning the next three frames to keep his hopes alive.
But Davison, much later then he originally hoped, weathered the storm and won the 18th frame to book a second round clash against Alfie Burden.
Ian Burns’ impressive debut season on the main tour continued after he came through a tough opening round match against Joel Walker edging it 10-8. Yu Delu awaits him in the next round.
Elsewhere, there were comfortable wins for Tony Drago and Dechawat Poomjaeng who advanced to the next round after beating Mohamed Khairy and Michael Leslie respectively.
Liam Highfield came back from 4-0 down to beat Simon Bedford 10-6 to reach the second round and China’s Li Yan beat Robbie Williams 10-7.
India’s Aditya Mehta kept his hopes alive of reaching the Crucible for the first time after seeing off Welshman Daniel Wells with a 10-7 win and Sam Baird beat Chen Zhe by the same scoreline.