Reigning world champion Mark Selby’s preparations for his big defence at the Crucible next month took another blow when he fell to a first round defeat in the Romanian Masters.
The three-times world champion and world number one lost 4-2 to China’s Liang Wenbo in his first match of the new invitational tournament.
The defeat continues what has been a disappointing season for the Leicester star who has won only one major event all throughout the 2017/18 campaign.
Recently Selby lost in the second round of the Welsh Open and also suffered early exits in the German Masters, the Masters and the UK Championship. His form did pick up in last month’s World Grand Prix but lost 6-5 in the semi-finals to Ding Junhui.
Meanwhile, Gibraltar Open winner Ryan Day continued his fine form by beating Welsh Open finalist Barry Hawkins 4-2, while John Higgins – who beat Hawkins to win his fifth Welsh Open title – beat fellow Scot Anthony McGill by the same scoreline.