Ricky Walden out of International Championship

Picture: TSPL
Picture: TSPL
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Reigning champion Ricky Walden crashed out of the International Championship in the first round as he went down 6-4 to China’s Tian Pengfei in Daqing.

World number 66 Tian led 3-1 at the interval, aided by a break of 106 in frame four, and although Walden fought back to level at 4-4 with breaks of 92, 80 and 86, the home player dominated the ninth with breaks of 70 and 64 and sealed victory in the next.

World number one Mark Selby, seeking his first title of the season, enjoyed a 6-3 win over Mike Dunn and world champion Stuart Bingham eased to a 6-1 win over Steven Hallworth, closing out victory with a run of 80 on the opening day of the first professional tournament to be held in Daqing.

“I’m very happy to win 6-1 in the first round,” said Bingham. “I haven’t had great results this season but I got to the semi-finals in Shanghai and I’d love to go further this week.”

Last year’s runner-up Mark Allen beat fellow Ulsterman Joe Swail 6-4 with a top break of 88 but derived little joy from it.

“It’s no fun playing one of your best friends,” Allen said. “I didn’t enjoy it. I made some good breaks and always felt in control, although you are never comfortable until you get over the line.”

Chinese prodigy Zhou Yuelong beat Martin Gould 6-2 while Anthony McGill top scored with 84 in a 6-0 whitewash of Sean O’Sullivan.

Barry Hawkins came from 3-1 down to beat Chris Wakelin 6-4 with a break of 112 while Mark Williams saw off Ian Burns 6-3 with a best effort of 93 and Marco Fu made a 137 in a 6-2 win over Matthew Stevens.

Michael Wild, who scored a shock 6-0 win over Judd Trump in the qualifying round, lost by the same scoreline to Sanderson Lam while, in the wild card round, Ken Doherty scored a 6-2 win over Chen Zifan.