In this tournament last year Ding Junhui produced some stunning snooker to lift the title and many believe that performance was the catalyst for what we've seen this year with a ultra confident Ding helping himself to four ranking titles so far.It was therefore a shock to the system to see a return to the bad old days for him today,as he allowed an early 3-0 lead slip against Ben Woollaston to crash out of the tournament 4-3.
He will next play John Higgins,who came through what looked a potentially tricky tie with Jimmy Robertson 4-2.Higgins has looked to be finding some of his form of late and will fancy a run here this week.
On seeing the draw one first round tie stood out above all others as recent World Open winner Shaun Murphy was paired against Neil Robertson,but as so often happen this one failed to live up to the billing as the frames went a bit scrappy.That wont bother Murphy though as he produced the better all round display to go through 4-2.and set up another mouth watering clash in the next round with Judd Trump,who wasted no time in beating Ju Reti 4-1
The other major shock of the day came in the top half,with Gerard Greene beating Ricky Walden 4-1,in a result that incidentally knocks Steve Davis out of the top 64 in the rankings and makes the folly of his Jungle adventure seem all the more ludicrous.He will need to a win a match in the World Championship qualifiers to stay on tour.
Greene for his part here will now play Anthony Hamilton after he came through a four hour marathon with Sam Baird winning eventually 4-3.
In other matches Mark Williams beat Chinese teenager Lu Haotian 4-1 and he will next face Marco Fu who eased past Gary Wilson 4-0.
Day two tomorrow then and the turn of the World Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan