Ronnie O’Sullivan has been dumped out of the Shanghai Masters at the last 16 stage by Michael Holt.
The Hitman proved too sharp for O’Sullivan, who looked to lack match practice in his first tournament appearance of 2016/17.
O’Sullivan led 2-1 after a scrappy opening to the match. Holt responded with a 103 century break in the fourth frame to level the scores. The Rocket was clearly frustrated with his form and his cue took the brunt of his anger, as he wrapped it off the table. Holt sensed an opportunity and won a further three frames in a row, with breaks of 57, 44 and 64, to surge to a 5-2 win.
Holt remarked: “When you play Ronnie or the big players, you’ve got to stand up and not let their reputation make you play worse. Although Ronnie is better than me, he’s not that much better than me that I can’t win. In a one off game I know I can win.”
World Open Champion Ali Carter stepped up his bid to win back to back events in China, defeating four-time World Champion John Higgins 5-2.
It was Carter’s second win of the season against the Scot. The Captain made breaks of 72, 58, 64 and 67 on his way to victory.
“I played really well today. My all-round game was very good,” said Carter. “John’s one of the best players ever to pick up a cue, so you’ve got to be on top of your game to beat him.”
Ding Junhui made five breaks over 50, as he claimed a dominant victory over world number six Mark Allen. There were contributions of 54, 86, 50, 56 and 58 in the 5-2 win. Ding will face Holt in tomorrow’s last eight.
Michael White looked dead and buried at 3-0 down against Judd Trump. However, the Welshman turned the game completely on its head by winning five frames in a row, to run out a 5-3 winner.
The key moment for White came in the seventh frame. Trump held a comfortable lead, but White made an extraordinary clearance of 57 to snatch the frame on the black. He went on to win the eighth and secure a memorable victory.