ALAN McManus continued his impressive form by knocking out five-times world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan on the opening day of the Shanghai Masters.
The Scot, who has reached at least the last 16 stage all of this season’s events played so far, recorded his first win against the Rocket since the 2003 Scottish Open after completing a surprise 5-3 win in the season’s third major ranking event.
O’Sullivan, playing his first significant match since losing to Mark Selby in this year’s World Championship final four months ago, failed to build on a break of 139 and a 3-2 lead as McManus came storming back to reach the second round.
McManus, who reached the quarter-finals at the Crucible and the World Open earlier this year, said: “I won two or three scrappy frames and that was the difference. I didn’t play very well but sometimes you play poorly and manage to scrape through – I was fortunate to do that.”
Former world champion Shaun Murphy also booked his place in the last 16 but was forced to do it the hard way after the Ulsterman pushed the 2005 Crucible winner all the way to a deciding frame shootout.
A brilliant break from 75 in the final frame – adding to breaks of 80, 102, 65 and 56 – helped Murphy through to the winning line despite the former World Championship semi-finalist keeping close tabs throughout.
The opening day saw six wildcard matches take place as professionals Mark Williams, Michael White, Michael Holt, Li Hang and Ryan Day beat their Chinese opponents to secure their place in the first round proper.
But there was no such joy for China’s number two star Liang Wenbo who became the only wildcard victim of the day after crashing to a 5-1 defeat to Yan Bingtao.
Bingtao will next play former world champion Graeme Dott on Wednesday (September 10) for a place in the last 16.
Tuesday sees home favourite Ding Junhui begin his bid to successfully defend his Shanghai Masters title when he plays Jack Lisowski.
Recent Australian Open winner Judd Trump is also in action taking on Dominic Dale.