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Snooker news - Ronnie O’Sullivan begins title defence with win, Mark WIlliams hits two centuries

O’Sullivan begins title defence with easy win, WIlliams hits two centuries
By Eurosport

15/10/2018 at 21:09Updated 16/10/2018 at 05:43

Ronnie O’Sullivan shrugged off losing the opening frame to beat Norway’s Kurt Maflin 4-1 and reach the English Open second round.

The defending champion showed glimpses of his best form – making a run of 104 in the second frame and producing a few improvised shots – as he booked a meeting with Allan Taylor, adding a 70 break in the third frame and a closing 82 to progress.

Maflin had opportunities but, after sinking a long red in the opening frame, his game collapsed as five-times world champion O’Sullivan was handed several chances in only his second ranking event of the season.

Mark Williams contributed two centuries on his way to a 4-1 win over fellow Welshman Dominic Dale.

The world champion produced 116, 54 and 109 before winning the fifth frame on a re-spotted black to secure a meeting in the last 64 with Alexander Ursenbacher or Kishan H Hirani.

2010 world champion Neil Robertson cut a contented figure after producing a 4-2 win over Ross Muir.

The Australian started and finished with century breaks, making 100 in the opening frame and 112 in the sixth frame while also throwing in a 54 to level at 2-2 before winning the next two to reach the last 64, where he will face Oliver Lines.

And world number one Mark Selby is also through after sweeping aside world number 102 Sanderson Lam 4-0.

Leeds-born Lam broke down on 51 in the opening frame as Selby clinched the frame with a classy 78.

He continued to dominate as runs of 106 and 79 saw him through as his opponent contributed only one more point in three frames.


Liang Wenbo cruised through with a 4-0 win over Gary Wilson.

Wenbo posted breaks of 53, 112 and 59 in a dominant display, which saw his opponent post just 20 points in the entire match.

Marco Fu also progressed with a 4-1 win over Mark Joyce.

The 40-year-old was in sublime form in Crawley, producing knocks of 71, 75, 137 and 58, to banish memories of his first-round exit last year.

First round results (best of seven frames)

Morning session

  • Scott Donaldson 3-4 Allan Taylor
  • Liang Wenbo 4-0 Gary Wilson
  • Eden Sharav 4-3 Michael Georgiou
  • Craig Steadman 4-1 Joe Swail
  • Ken Doherty 0-4 Chris Wakelin
  • David Lilley 4-2 Tom Ford
  • Oliver Lines 4-3 Joe O'Connor
  • Marco Fu 4-1 Mark Joyce

Afternoon session

  • Ronnie O'Sullivan 4-1 Kurt Maflin
  • Matthew Stevens 4-1 Chen Zifan
  • Alan McManus 4-0 Fan Zhengyi
  • Martin O'Donnell 2-4 Stuart Carrington
  • Adam Duffy 3-4 Luo Honghao
  • Zhao Xintong 4-3 Michael Judge
  • Li Hang 0-4 Ian Burns
  • Andy Lee 2-4 Yan Bingtao
  • Mark Williams 4-1 Dominic Dale
  • Yan Bingtao 4-2 Andy Lee
  • All Carter 4-2 Rory McLeod
  • Neil Robertson 4-2 Ros Muir
  • Peter Ebdon 4-0 Alfie Burden

Evening session

  • Mark Selby 4-0 Sanderson Lam
  • Ryan Day 4-0 Ashley Hugill
  • Adam Stefanow 4-1 Jamie Clarke
  • Hossein Vafaei 4-3 Michael White.
  • Shaun Murphy 4-1 Mike Dunn
  • Ben Woollaston 4-2 Graeme Dott
  • Martin Gould 4-2 Billy Joe Castle
  • Zhang Yong 4-3 Chen Feilong