With all due respect to the wildcard round, the Shanghai Masters starts properly on Tuesday with the entrance of members of the top 16.

Among them, Stephen Maguire faces Judd Trump, buoyed from his recent capture of EPTC1 in Germany.

Liang Wenbo, runner-up to Ronnie O’Sullivan last year but erratic and unpredictable, meets Matthew Stevens, who is making a conscious effort this season to haul his career out of the doldrums.

Mark Williams, who has won six ranking titles in Asia, three of which were staged in China, tackles Ricky Walden, the 2008 Shanghai Masters champion.

In a battle of two former world champions, Ken Doherty will play Graeme Dott, who beat him twice last season.

Ryan Day, who is sliding down the rankings at an alarming rate, will try and arrest this decline when he meets Andrew Higginson.

In what could well turn out to be a match of breaks, Mark Allen plays Stuart Bingham.

Marco Fu takes on Mark Davis, a player who has finally joined the top 32 after 19 years as a professional.

This was a long road for Davis, who has steadily started winning the close matches he was losing a few years ago.

Case in point: in the final qualifying round of the Shanghai event he beat Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon 5-4.

Davis is now full of confidence and goes into the match having beaten Fu 5-4 at the corresponding stage of the Grand Prix last season.

If he is to rise still further up the list he needs to start beating top 16 players on a regular basis but the momentum is with him and he’s capable of a shock.

Two qualifiers were beaten in the wildcard round. It’s an early bath for Robert Milkins and Mike Dunn, who lost to Jin Long and Mei Xiwen respectively, leaving four Chinese plus Hong Kong’s Fu in the last 32.

For those who like to keep track of the centuries, here were the tons on day one...

131 – Jamie Burnett
130 – Tian Pengfei
109 – Ken Doherty
106 – Dave Harold
100 – Mei Xiwen


Anonymous said...

Stevens and Wenbo will be interesting in that they may well be playing for a top 16 spot at the next cut off. Expect a few nerves there.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU VERY MUCH for break list, Dave! Very frustrating not to be able to update the stats.
Much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

If there are nerves then expect Liangs to be stronger in that case!

Colin Viajante-Mendoza said...

Good tournament and on Eurosport here in Lithuania.

Many great player play good shot today. I like look of Burnett. He no play Osullivan

Anonymous said...

you like that paiboon mans name dont you dave? heard you say it on tv yesterday...


Dave H said...

I'd been rehearsing for weeks

Anonymous said...

Is that Paiboon lad not going to create a western version of his name like Wattana did?

Anonymous said...

Is that Paiboon lad not going to create a western version of his name like Wattana did?

So he should. A lot of the Thai players have had the kindness to do that - much to everybody's satisfaction (myself included and I must say I still like to draw that sort of "old fashioned" GSC-type of draws so names like young Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon's need a lot of space....) :D

Anonymous said...

Liang Wenbo is now confirm to lose his Top 16 spot, having only jeld it for 5 months.