Doherty upsets Murphy at Wuxi Classic
Ken Doherty displayed flashes of his very best form in upsetting world number six and fellow former world champion Shaun Murphy 5-1 in the Wuxi Classic last 32.
1997 world champion Doherty - ranked 35th in the standings - unearthed a decent long game in dominating the vast majority of his match against Murphy, winner of the Crucible title in 2005, to progress to a meeting with Stuart Bingham in the last 16 of snooker's opening ranking event of the new season in China.
Irishman Doherty made top breaks of 59 and 58 in establishing a 3-0 lead. Murphy pinched a tight fourth frame aided by a 38, but Doherty compiled a closing run of 41 to move 4-1 clear before another composed clearance of 34 was enough to finish off the match against a strangely subdued Murphy.
It was certainly an easier day at the office for Doherty, who only came through the qualifying round 24 hours earlier with a 5-4 win over local hope Lu Ning.
Two-times world champion Mark Williams encountered little resistance in drubbing Tom Ford 5-0 while there was a 5-3 win for Robert Milkins over Andrew Higginson boosted by knocks of 65, 40, 55, 47 and 54.
World number three Williams produced runs of 64, 69 and 63 against a faltering Ford, who endured a session of personal turmoil in squandering several chances to score heavily. Ford's top run of 22 in the fourth fame illustrated his struggles in adapting to the pace of the table in humid conditions.
Ricky Walden completed a 5-0 win over Chinese wildcard Zhu Yinghui to secure a meeting with Joe Perry, who only advanced to the last 16 after Matthew Stevens withdrew with a back injury a few days ago.
In the evening matches, Rod Lawler - who started the tournament ranked at 73rd in the world - continued his engrossing run with a 5-4 win over world number four Stephen Maguire aided by an impeccable clearance of 77 in the final frame after Maguire had moved 39-0 clear in the decider having clawed his way back to level from 4-2 behind.
Lawler also produced a classy run of 129 in the fourth frame to demonstrate why he had survived six rounds to reach the last 32. The Englishman will face another Scot in the form of Graeme Dott in the last 16 after the 2006 world champion enjoyed a 5-1 win over Zhou Yuelong while Judd Trump - complete with a new cropped look - rolled in back-to-back centuries (1113, 108) on his way to a comfortable 5-1 win over Dominic Dale to set up a meeting with Milkins.
Marcus Campbell will face Fergal O'Brien in the last 16 after a 5-1 win over world number eight Stephen Lee.