China's Ding and Liang suffer first-round exits at Masters Snooker Tournament

Updated 2018-01-16 10:37:01 Xinhua

Ding Junhui of China hits the ball during the first round match with Ryan Day of Wales at Snooker Masters 2018 at the Alexandra Palace in London, Britain on Jan. 15, 2018. Ryan Day won 6-4. (Xinhua/Tim Ireland)

China's Ding Junhui and Liang Wenbo both crashed out of the first round of the Masters Snooker Tournament at Alexandra Palace on Monday.

Fourth-seeded Ding surrendered a 3-0 lead to lose 6-4 to Welshman Ryan Day while Liang, the 16th seed, was beaten by Englishman Judd Trump 6-4.

Ding, who won the title of the event in 2011, dominated in the early stages and made breaks of 111 and 58 in taking the first three frames. But Day, 37, playing his first Masters match since 2010, made 79, 125 and 105 to level the match at 3-3.

The fourth-seeded Ding then lost a safety battle on the last red and Day finally cleared and led 4-3.

Ding was on a break of 62 when he accidentally touched the blue when using the rest, trying to pot the third-last red. Day took advantage with a 41 clearance to lead 5-3. Ding pulled one back with a run of 100 but Day responded in kind with a 115 to seal victory.

Ding has won only one match after the Masters moved to north London's Alexandra Palace from Wembley Arena in 2012.

"Ryan played great," Ding said. "I missed a couple of pots and he came back like Superman. I got a few chances at 3-3 and 4-3 but little bits of luck went against me."

Trump, the third seed, took a dominant 5-1 lead in his eighth Masters appearance. Liang fought back with runs of 58, 139 - the highest break after two days' competition. He pulled it closer to 5-4 with a break of 116. But Trump scored a match-winning 85 after Liang had made a mistake.

"I thought Liang was negative early in the match, he was over-thinking everything," said Trump. "After that he relaxed more and started playing well, he put me under a bit of pressure so I was pleased to take my chance to win 6-4."

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