This year’s UK Championship has already thrown up a few shocks as the first round has come to an end. Both of last year’s finalists are already out.
Defending champion and favourite Judd Trump lost in a deciding frame to Mark Joyce. Trump was seen to be cruising but became complacent and saw his 5-2 lead slowly deteriorate.
2011 runner up Mark Allen lost 6-3 to Hong Kong’s Marco Fu. Marco is currently one of the form players on the circuit after playing well in many PTC’s this season and is currently the third highest century maker this season.
Ryan Day also caused an upset after defeating two time champion Ding Junhui by a two frame margin.
There were two more shocks in last night’s matches as Mark King put in a strong performance over Mark Williams who hasn’t beaten King since 2006. Also 17 year old Belgian prospect Luca Brecel came from behind to win a deciding frame against world number 12 Ricky Walden.
There will be no Chinese players in the second round after both Cao Yupeng and Liang Wenbo followed Ding out after losing to Mark Davis and Barry Hawkins respectively.
John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Shaun Murphy and Mark Selby will all now be fancied to win the title after successfully beating their opponents in the first round with relative ease. Robertson in particularly looked impressive. Stephen Maguire might also fancy his chances after a 6-2 victory over Fergal O’Brien.
In other matches, 55 year old Steve Davis couldn’t perform an upset against Ali Carter as he lost 6-2. Premier League winner Stuart Bingham also progresses alongside Matthew Stevens and Graeme Dott.
The last 16 draw is as follows;
Mark Joyce v Ali Carter
Stuart Bingham v Stephen Maguire
Mark King v Luca Brecel
Graeme Dott v Shaun Murphy
John Higgins v Mark Davis
Matthew Stevens v Marco Fu
Neil Robertson v Barry Hawkins
Ryan Day v Mark Selby