Ding’s struggle for form continues as he suffers early Welsh Open exit

Ding Junhui. Picture by Monique Limbos

Ding Junhui. Picture by Monique Limbos

DING Junhui’s poor season on the baize continued as he suffered a surprise first round exit in the Welsh Open.

China’s number one star crashed out of the tournament he won in 2012 after losing 4-1 to Welshman Lee Walker – ranked 115 in the world.

The defeat is his latest setback of what has been a disappointing season having been knocked out of the UK Championship, International Championship, Masters and German Masters within the opening few rounds. Only a semi-final run in this season’s Shanghai Masters is the best he has achieved in major events so far this season.

However, Walker failed to build on his memorable win after losing 4-2 to England’s Michael Georgiou in the second round.

The second day of the Welsh Open saw world number one and recent German Masters champion Mark Selby made it through to the last 32 stage after wins over Alex Davies and Marcus Campbell.

Selby will next face former world champion Peter Ebdon after he progressed to the third round with wins over Tony Drago and Jimmy Robertson.

Derbyshire amateur Oliver Brown followed rookie Ashley Carty’s success on Monday by reaching the last 32 stage after recording impressive wins against Mike Dunn and Ryan Day.

Former Welsh Open winner and four-times world champion John Higgins enjoyed a good day after he recorded two comfortable wins against Michael Leslie and Alex Borg.

Barry Hawkins, the 2013 World Championship finalist, lost 4-2 to India’s world number 49 Aditya Mehta.

Welsh Open – Last 32 Draw:

Ronnie O’SULLIVAN vs Matthew STEVENS
Ashley CARTY vs Marco FU
Jamie JONES vs Mark WILLIAMS
Michael WASLEY vs Judd TRUMP
Mark ALLEN vs Ben WOOLLASTON
Matthew SELT vs Ali CARTER
Joe PERRY vs Gary WILSON
Jamie COPE vs Neil ROBERTSON
Michael GEORGIOU vs Graeme DOTT
Liang WENBO vs John HIGGINS
Stephen MAGUIRE vs Sam BAIRD
Alan McMANUS vs Aditya MEHTA
Stuart BINGHAM vs Michael WHITE
Martin GOULD vs Ricky WALDEN
Luca BRECEL vs Oliver BROWN
Peter EBDON vs Mark SELBY

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