Reigning champion Michael White was a round one casualty on the opening day of the Indian Open in Hyderabad. He suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Anthony Hamilton.
The “Sheriff of Pottingham” set the tone early on, making 125 in the opener and taking a scrappy second to go 2-0 up. White looked to hit back with 61 in the third, but the Welshman struggled to get a foothold in the game. Hamilton snatched a crucial fourth frame on the black and went on to claim a 4-1 victory.
2014 World Champion Stuart Bingham and world number 16 Kyren Wilson survived day one scares. Bingham had established a 2-0 lead over Steven Hallworth before the 20-year-old pinned him back to 3-3. Bingham held his nerve in the decider to secure a place in round two where he faces 2003 UK Champion Matthew Stevens.
Wilson looked on the verge of defeat against world number 66 Martin O’Donnell. The “Warrior” compiled a run of 125 early on in the match, however contributions of 55 and 44 helped O’Donnell respond and take a 3-1 lead. The 2015 Shanghai Masters Champion showed great character, making 81 in the fifth and taking a tight sixth to force a decider, where breaks of 48 and 41 saw him over the line 4-3.
Home favourite Pankaj Advani has secured passage into the main draw. Breaks of 49, 40 and 66 helped him to secure a 4-2 win over world number 109 Fang Xiongman in the wildcard round. The multiple billiards world champion will face Elliot Slessor in round one tomorrow.
“Although I won, I wasn’t absolutely pleased with my performance,” said 30-year-old Advani. “Fang is a very attacking and positive player, but I think it was the experience that got me through. After being 2-0 down, I’m happy to stay in the tournament.”
Advani’s compatriot Aditya Mehta didn’t fare so well in his opener against Jimmy Robertson. The 2013 Indian Open finalist failed to trouble the scorers as Robertson made 63 in the fourth frame to complete a 4-0 whitewash.
One of the day’s most enticing matches saw veterans Joe Swail and Jimmy White faceoff. The pair traded frames in the early stages with Swail making 81 in the opener and White hitting 91 in the third. The Northern Irishman then moved into a 3-2 lead and held his nerve in the sixth frame, clearing the final three colours to seal a 4-2 win.