IN A TOURNAMENT overshadowed by news off the table, one young man brightened up the snooker world with a victory he will remember for the rest of his life.
Kyren Wilson, playing in his first match at a major ranking event, was the star of the day in the Shanghai Masters after beating world number eight Stuart Bingham by an emphatic 5-1 scoreline.
Speaking to The Old Green Baize prior to the tournament, the 21-year-old said he was buzzing to play in the tournament – and Wilson took that excitement into the arena and showcased his potential to the snooker world, still coming to terms over the outcome of Stephen Lee’s match-fixing hearing.
Wilson, ranked 100 in the world, had the better of the first two frames before a memorable win became a reality when he added the third frame to go 3-0 up.
The talented Kettering potter then excited the Shanghai crowd with a brilliant 147 attempt but missed the black with two reds left on 97. Should he have gone all the way he would have won £40,000. But at 4-0 up he was in total control.
Bingham pulled a frame back with a break of 56 but Wilson was not to be stopped in the sixth frame when a break of 54 sealed a place in the next round. He plays Marco Fu in a bid to reach the quarter-finals.
The Basildon star was not the only top seed to suffer an early exit. Infact, on a day full of surprises, four more of the world’s top players suffered defeat as the draw opened up significantly.
Stephen Maguire, who was crowned Welsh Open champion earlier this year, fell to a 5-2 defeat to Xiao Guodong. And Mark Allen slumped to a 5-1 defeat to Welshman Ryan Day.
Martin Gould came from 3-2 down to defeat World Championship semi-finalist Ricky Walden and Mark King ended Graeme Dott’s hopes of Shanghai glory with a 5-3 win.
Robert Milkins looked set to be another seed to crash out when he trailed 4-2 to Mark Joyce but the Gloucestershire star hit back and won the final three frames to edge into the last 16.
Despite losing the first frame, world number two Mark Selby eased into the next stage after beating wildcard Lin Shuai 5-2. And there was plenty of joy for the Shanghai crowd as home favourite Ding Junhui booked his place in the second round after beating David Gilbert by the same scoreline.
Shanghai Masters 2013 – Last 16 Draw:
John HIGGINS vs Mark DAVIS
Peter LINES vs Xiao GUODONG
Kyren WILSON vs Marco FU
Martin GOULD vs Michael HOLT
Mark SELBY vs Robert MILKINS
Ryan DAY vs Barry HAWKINS
Shaun MURPHY vs Ding JUNHUI
Mark KING vs Neil ROBERTSON