FORMER world champion Shaun Murphy was pushed all the way before winning a deciding frame to reach the last 16 of the Shanghai Masters.
Breaks of 116 and 77 gave Murphy the perfect start but his Chinese opponent Yu De Lu fought back in fluent style to peg back level on the tournament’s opening day.
The 2005 world champion regained the lead on two further occasions only to see a determined De Lu bounce back level each time and force the match into a deciding frame.
But it was the world number four who sealed his place in the second round with a match winning break of 60 in the final frame.
Defending champion John Higgins started the defence of his title in solid fashion as two century breaks helped him to a 5-1 win over Mike Dunn.
The remaining matches on Day 1 were wildcard matches. The only big casualty out of the six games was Joe Perry who suffered a shock 5-3 defeat to Wang Yuchen. The win for Yuchen earned him the prize of a first round tie with world number one Neil Robertson.
The remaining tour players avoided shock wildcard losses – Xiao Guodong thrashed Yuan Sijun 5-0 and Welshman Ryan Day eased to a 5-1 victory over Lu Ning.
But there tougher tests for qualifiers David Gilbert, Cao Yupeng and Martin Gould who battled their way to 5-4 wins against Fang XiongMan, Zhou Yuelong and Zhao Xintong respectively.
Day 2 of the Shanghai Masters sees Neil Robertson in action along with world championship runner up Barry Hawkins, Judd Trump and Ali Carter.
The opening day’s action was somewhat overshadowed by events back in the UK when World Snooker announced suspended star Stephen Lee was found guilty of match-fixing.