Holt beats O'Sullivan, Ebdon shocks Robertson

Holt beats O'Sullivan, Ebdon shocks Robertson
By Eurosport

09/03/2016 at 06:53Updated 09/03/2016 at 15:39

Ronnie O'Sullivan suffered a shock 4-3 defeat to fellow Englishman Michael Holt in the first round of the World Grand Prix in Llandudno.

World number 31 Holt led 3-0 in the best-of-seven frames meeting boosted by runs of 88 and 119 only for five-times world champion O'Sullivan to restore parity at 3-3 with breaks of 82, 48, and 44.

Holt refused to panic and dominated the deciding frame, finishing off with a lovely 76, to complete arguably the most notable win of his career against an opponent who has won the Masters and the Welsh Open in the first three months of the year.

Holt's reward is meeting with Liang Wenbo or Graeme Dott in the last 16.

Peter Ebdon produced a closing break of 69 to complete a surprise 4-3 win over world number three Neil Robertson in the their first round.

Ebdon – at 45 the oldest man in the tournament – trailed 1-0 and 2-0, but won four of the next five frames to secure a meeting with Ding Junhui in the last 16

2010 world champion Robertson lost 9-5 to Ronnie O’Sullivan in the Welsh Open a fortnight ago, and will be disappointed with this defeat.

The UK champion compiled 74 to force the deciding frame, but ‘The Force’ was not going to be denied as a forceful final contribution sealed his progress.

"It was a tough match and I’m delighted to win,” said Ebdon, who won the world title in 2002, but is now ranked number 30 in the world.

" I butchered a few balls, but it’s hard to get over the line when you haven’t been getting results. I was very focussed and felt I had a chance of winning. "

“Things haven’t been going for me this season and I’m looking for consistency.”

Former UK and Masters champion Ding Junhui was forced to go to the deciding frame of his match with Ben Woollaston.

China’s leading player recovered from trailing 2-1 and 3-2 to complete the win.

Ding Junhui made the sixth maximum break of his career - picture via World Snooker.

Ding Junhui made the sixth maximum break of his career - picture via World Snooker.Eurosport

A relieved Ding slotted brown for victory. He needs some positive results to avoid having to qualify for the World Championship next month.

He is 19th in the ranking list, outside of the game’s top 16 who automatically qualify for the Crucible in Sheffield.

Ding requires a solid run at the Players Championship or the China Open to be sure of a place in the top 16.

“I was fighting hard and all the way through I believed I could win. I played well and if I keep doing that then everything will be fine,” said Ding, who has won 11 ranking events.

“I’m not looking at the rankings. I’m just trying to enjoy playing.

"I know the situation but there’s still a long way to go. There are three tournaments left and for now I’m focussed on this one.”

Schedule/Latest results

Tuesday March 8

First round (best of seven frames)

Neil Robertson 3-4 Peter Ebdon

Ben Woollaston 3-4 Ding Junhui

Joe Perry 4-0 Barry Hawkins

Martin Gould 4-0 Tian Pengfei

John Higgins 4-0 Stephen Maguire

Matthew Selt 1-4 Ryan Day

Ronnie O'Sullivan 3-4 Michael Holt

Mark Allen 4-2 David Grace

Wednesday March 9

First round (best of seven frames)

David Gilbert v Stuart Bingham

Judd Trump v Mark Williams

Liang Wenbo v Graeme Dott

Marco Fu v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

Mark Selby v Tom Ford

Shaun Murphy v Michael White

Luca Brecel v Ali Carter

Kyren Wilson v Jamie Jones