x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Home comfort

Local fans are given hope by Wenbo after seven Chinese fall on the first day of the Roewe Shanghai Masters.

SHANGHAI // The world championship quarter-finalist Liang Wenbo rescued some pride for China on the first day of the Roewe Shanghai Masters after seven home wild-cards had been beaten. The seven English players in action got the better of the Chinese wild-cards to book their places in the last-32 stage. But after beating the world amateur champion Atthasit Mahitthi, from Thailand, on Monday Wenbo went on to beat Mark Allen 5-2.

There was disappointment for the title holder Dominic Dale who was beaten 5-4 by six-times world champion Steve Davis. The man from Essex lost the first two frames but fought back to earn a quarter-final place against either Ding Junhui or Dave Harold. The twice world champion John Higgins won a deciding- frame shootout to beat Tom Ford 5-4 after winning the first three frames and leading 4-2. The Scot set a high break target of 136 with the Leicester cueman replying with exactly 100.

Joe Perry defeated Matthew Stevens 5-1 and Wembley Masters champion, Mark Selby beat Judd Trump by the same score. Anthony Hamilton, late on Monday completed a 5-1 defeat of Li Yan to join Jimmy White, Judd Trump, Ricky Walden, Stuart Pettman, Andy Hicks and Ford in round one. Hamilton's match was pulled off at 4-1 on Monday after slow progress in the first five frames. But the Nottingham cueman needed just one more frame to finish off the match when play resumed.

"It was a rubbish match, I was jet-lagged and he was nervous," admitted Hamilton. sports@thenational.ae