STRONG START FOR SELBY IN SHANGHAI
Mark Selby boosted his hopes of winning two ranking events in China in the same month by beating Ian Burns 5-2 in his opening match at the Shanghai Masters.
World number one Selby won the International Championship in Daqing just eight days ago and hopes for more success this week in Shanghai.
Leicester’s Selby started slowly and trailed 2-1 against world number 91 Burns, but improved as the match went on and took the last four frames with top breaks of 68, 120 and 132. Selby will now meet Chris Wakelin in the last 64 on Tuesday.
John Higgins also came through his held-over last 128 match as he beat Switzerland’s promising Alexander Ursenbacher. Higgins made a 131 to go 4-1 ahead and sealed the result in frame seven with a 73 clearance.
China’s top player Ding Junhui, the defending champion, pulled out of the tournament due to an eye infection which has affected him for several weeks.
Mark Allen scored a 5-1 win over 17-year-old Yan Bingtao in a repeat of their semi-final meeting at the International Championship, which Allen won 9-2. This time the Northern Irishman enjoyed top runs of 73 and 102.
“It was a bit of a scrappy game, but I felt like I dominated,” said Allen, who lost to Selby in the final in Daqing. “My safety was good and I limited him to small chances. I have done well in China this season despite not sleeping well – maybe that’s the secret.”
Liang Wenbo top scored with 125 in a 5-2 win over Rod Lawler while Mark Williams made an 87 in a 5-1 win over Wang Yuchen.
Michael White made a 140, the highest break of the event so far, in a 5-4 defeat of Mark Davis. Performance of the day came from Jack Lisowski as he beat Chris Totten 5-1 with breaks of 113, 117, 86, 86 and 82. Zhou Yuelong came from 3-2 down to edge out Sanderson Lam 5-4.