Four-time World Champion John Higgins brushed aside Welshman David John 4-1 at Indian Open Qualifying to book his place in Vishakhapatnam.
Higgins nearly added a fifth world crown at the end of last season, when he reached the Crucible final. The Scot led Mark Selby 10-4 before succumbing to a 18-15 defeat.
The world number two was on a 147 in the opening frame, but broke down on 88. Higgins made further breaks of 50 and 59 as he took just over an hour and a half to see off John.
Boonyarit Keattikun ousted last year’s Indian Open runner-up Kyren Wilson to book his place with a 4-2 victory.
Former World Under-21 Champion Keattikun struggled last season, suffering 11 first round exits. However, he’s claimed victory today in his first appearance of the 2017/18 campaign.
It’s a disappointing early exit for Wilson, who reached last year’s final where he lost out to Anthony McGill. The Warrior came into the match in a confident mood having claimed World Games gold in Wroclaw at the weekend.
Wilson claimed the opener to take an initial lead, but the Thai responded with a run of 60 to restore parity. The pair traded the next two frames before Keattikun edged ahead for the first time, winning a 42 minute tactical battle. He got over the line in the sixth frame, where he made a break of 43 which secured the win.
Chinese teenagers Zhou Yuelong and Yan Bingtao both progressed to the final stages. Zhou cruised to a 4-0 whitewash against Australia’s Kurt Dunham, making breaks of 57, 51 and 56. Yan faced a sterner test against Rhys Clark, who he trailed 2-1. However, three frames in a row ensured a 4-2 victory.
Recent Riga Masters finalist Stephen Maguire continued his good run of form by defeating Hu Hao 4-0. The Scot ended last season strongly by reaching the quarter-final stage of the World Championship at the Crucible. This afternoon the 2004 UK Champion compiled a century run of 104 on his way to the whitewash victory.
David Gilbert booked his spot in Vishakhapatnam with a 4-2 win over Allan Taylor. It was a tight opening to the match, but after Gilbert took the second frame on the black and then claimed the lead in the third, the pace picked up. Taylor levelled with a break of 101, but consecutive runs of 96 and 52 saw Gilbert over the line.
For full results click here.