Neil Robertson and Judd Trump were among the winners on day two of the International Championship in China, moving into the last 32 stage of the 625,000 pound world ranking event.
World number two Robertson, seeking his second ranking title in China this season having won the Wuxi Classic, scored a 6-3 victory over Matthew Selt. Breaks of 83 and 51 put Robertson 2-0 up, before Selt fought back to 3-3. But Australia’s Robertson reeled off the last three frames with runs of 70, 70 and 75.
“Matt is a much better player than his ranking suggests and he played well today,” said Robertson. “We are good friends so we know each other’s games well. It was a good match, the big turning point was the eighth frame to go 5-3 up.
“My preparation for this event has been better than it has for any other this season. A few of the top seeds have gone out already and maybe they weren’t quite ready for the tough matches you get in the first round. But there are still a lot of great players left.”
Trump, who won this event two years ago, had a stiff test against Jimmy Robertson and came through 6-5. Trump led 5-3 after top breaks of 82 and 69 before Robertson fought back to 5-5. But the decider went to Trump thanks to a run of 67.
“I’ve practised really hard for this – probably the hardest for a couple of seasons – so I would have been really disappointed to lose,” said Bristol’s Trump, who won the Australian Goldfields Open in July. “I always seem to struggle in my first match in China, the conditions are quite humid and the pockets played tight.
“Neither of us played that well but Jimmy showed determination. In the last few frames we both got on with it and played better. The fact that I won here two years ago gave me confidence and helped me get through today. I was edgy, but hopefully I can relax now.”
Shaun Murphy, who won the Bulgarian Open earlier this month, saw off China’s Yu Delu 6-1 with top breaks of 98, 70, 71 and 61.
Stephen Maguire made a surprise exit despite making a century and six more breaks of 50 or more in his match against Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham.
Five-time ranking event winner Maguire held leads of 3-1 and 5-4 and compiled runs of 56, 61, 51, 53, 57, 140 and 50. Saengkham’s 65 in frame ten was his only break over 50, but he won several frames on the colours in a 6-5 victory, including the decider which he took 72-63 by clearing from the last red to the pink.
“I’m really happy today,” said Saengkham. “I learned a lot from this match. I’m in the last 32 now and I can just relax, there will be no problem if I lose.
“In the last frame today I just went for the pots. I thought ‘if they go in then I will win, if not I’ll give up.’ But it came out well and I think I was lucky.
“I have two heroes: Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Selby. I like Ronnie’s white ball control and I like Selby because he plays well when behind. I need to learn a lot from them.
“I want to be in the top 64 by the end of the season. My ranking is about 69 and I’m 15,000 pounds behind. It’s not easy.”
Chinese tour rookie Zhou Yuelong impressed in a 6-1 win over Chris Melling, firing in breaks of 53, 85, 62, 50 and 67.
Zhou, who has competed in Chengdu in recent years as a wild card, said: “It’s slightly different playing as a professional and there will be more people watching as I’m a local player. I think the draw has been kind to me. I took my chances well today. Hopefully I can have a good run in Chengdu or at least play my game in style.
“I believe the gap between me and other professional players is not big, I’m catching up fast with hard work and more experience.
“I’m getting along well in the UK as the travel and hotels have been looked after well, though I have to cook for myself!”
Joe Swail scored a 6-2 win over Andrew Higginson with a top break of 63. “I’ve been winning a lot of matches this season and I dominated today,” said former Crucible semi-finalist Swail, who will now meet Robertson.
“I’m delighted with my game, I’m playing within myself and the results are coming. The tables here different to the way they play back home, so playing a wild card yesterday helped me. I’m on my way back up and enjoying the game.
“When I fell off the tour I thought I wouldn’t be playing pro snooker any more. Now I’m coming to China several times a year and I appreciate it more. I took it for granted before.”
China’s Xiao Guodong saw off amateur Eden Sharav 6-2 and said: “I’m happy with the way I won the match. Showing what I can do in Chengdu means a lot to me – whoever I play I want to bring my best to the table. My practice went well in the UK so I’m keen to show what I can do. I’m really happy that Zhou Yuelong and I both got through the first round.”
Day two results:
Peter Ebdon 6-1 Andrew Pagett
Shaun Murphy 6-1 Yu Delu
Noppon Saengkham 6-5 Stephen Maguire
David Gilbert 6-4 Zak Surety
Wang ZePeng 5-6 Mitchell Mann
Zhao Xintong 6-3 Kurt Maflin
Neil Robertson 6-3 Matthew Selt
Zhou Yuelong 6-1 Chris Melling
Matthew Stevens 1-6 Jamie Burnett
Marco Fu 6-4 Liam Highfield
Fergao O’Brien 6-5 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Joe Swail 6-2 Andrew Higginson
Xiao Guodong 6-2 Eden Sharav
Joe Perry 6-3 Mike Dunn
Ricky Walden 6-3 David Morris
Judd Trump 6-5 Jimmy Robertson
Rod Lawler 6-3 Oliver Lines
Robert Milkins 6-2 Barry Pinches