Shaun Murphy suffered a shock 6-4 defeat against Poland’s Adam Stefanow in the qualifying round of the China Open.
Stefanow is Poland’s top player
With a prize pot of £1 million, the China Open is the most lucrative event outside the World Championship, but former Crucible king Murphy will not even make it to the final stages in Beijing. Defeat against a player ranked 112 places below him at 123rd in the world is a new low in a disappointing season for Murphy.
Other than a run to the final of the Scottish Open in December, Murphy has not reached the quarter-finals of any other ranking event this season. Since the turn of the year, he has lost five out of six matches.
Murphy made a break of 91 to lead Stefanow 2-1 but his opponent took frame four on the black then compiled runs of 62 and 71 in taking a 5-3 advantage. Frame nine went Murphy’s way but 24-year-old Stefanow made a 64 in the tenth and eventually sealed it by potting blue and pink. It’s his second win this season and the best of his career so far.
Kyren Wilson booked his place in the last 64 with a 6-1 win over Chen Feilong. Wilson, who has already won two ranking titles this season, knocked in breaks of 102 and 101.
Ashley Carty scored a surprise 6-3 win over European Masters champion Jimmy Robertson while Michael Holt made a break of 60 in the deciding frame to edge out Joe Swail 6-5.
Ken Doherty made back-to-back centuries, 127 and 105, to close out a 6-3 win over Paul Davison. Gary Wilson, runner-up in this event in 2015, made a 95 in a 6-1 win over Jimmy White.
Anthony Hamilton made a 143 but still lost 6-3 to James Wattana in a match between players with a combined age of 96.
German Masters runner-up David Gilbert top scored with 81 in a 6-2 win over Sean O’Sullivan while Rod Lawler made a top break of 90 in a 6-0 whitewash over Martin Gould.