Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Roewe Shanghai Masters - Day Three - Ebdon dethrones world champ

The pressure was on world champion Neil Robertson today.

The Aussie was playing his first televised match since capturing the Crucible crown in May, and a lot was being made of how he would cope this season as a first time winner of the greatest prize in the sport.

Becoming the hunted from the hunter hasn't been an easy role to play for former first time winners over the years.

While Stephen Hendry went on to capture five ranking titles the year after his first Crucible win, others have not fared so admirably. In fact, others have been a shadow of themselves when asked to play under a never before experienced spotlight.

Ambitious Robertson will be been keen not to fall into that bracket, but he didn't have the best of starts in Shanghai.

He was beaten 5-4 in a close fought match with Peter Ebdon, who ironically holds the worst ever record the season after becoming a first time world champion.

After his triumph in 2002, he failed to make a single ranking event final in the year after, and his tenacity managed to rock Robertson in his first outing.

The world number one has been widely tipped to cope with the added pressure that comes with being world champion. His laid back attitude to the game has been the foundation of his success so far in his career.

But today proved he can be rattled, although he'll be hoping it was just an off day.

Robertson wasn't the only former world champion to come unstuck on day three of the competition either, as 13-time winning duo Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry were both booted out in the first round.

The Nugget lost 5-3 to an impressive Jamie Cope, while the record-breaking Scot went down 5-2 to an up and coming Martin Gould.

Gould is emerging as one of the best players on the circuit outside of the top 16, and this win will do his ranking chances no harm at all.

2005 Crucible winner Shaun Murphy showed it will take a little more to knock him off his perch.

He recovered from 3-1 down against Stephen Lee to win 5-3, and prove exactly why he's being touted as one of the front runners to win this competition.

Mark Selby and Ding Junhui are up there with the bookmakers too. They both progressed to the last 16 to keep their chances alive.

Selby defeated Chinese wildcard Mei Xiwen 5-2.

It wasn't so straight forward for Asia's brightest hope Ding. He found himself 4-1 down against Jin Long before battling back to win on a tense deciding frame.

Elsewhere, Mark King did his top 16 survival hopes a world of good with a 5-3 victory against Joe Delaney, while Ali Carter beat Dave Harold 5-3.

Round Two draw (to be played Thursday 09 September):

Jamie Burnett v Andrew Higginson
Mark Davis v Stephen Maguire
Mark Williams v Graeme Dott
Jamie Cope v Ding Junhui
Ali Carter v Stuart Bingham
Matthew Stevens v Shaun Murphy
Mark Selby v Martin Gould
Mark King v Peter Ebdon

No comments:

Post a Comment