Ronnie O’Sullivan produced a pair of stunning century breaks on the way to a 4-2 victory over Yan Bingtao in the opening round of the World Grand Prix in Preston on Tuesday, while Ryan Day dumped out Stuart Bingham.
Masters Champion O’Sullivan bounced back from his First Round exit in last week’s German Masters with an assured display to deny the 16-year-old a dream debut at The Guild Hall.
O’Sullivan began in emphatic fashion by powering in a break of 137 to seal the opening frame, before punishing a risky missed double on a red from the Chinese youngster to double his lead.
Bingtao responded well with a break of 69 to halve the deficit, before firing in further breaks of 55 and 68 in frame four to level the match.
The turning point, however, came in the fifth frame as ‘The Rocket’ fluked a red before going on to make 59 for a 3-2 lead and close out victory with a majestic break of 128 in the next.
? Turns out Ronnie might actually be a robot after all!? pic.twitter.com/oc9OPmjwci
— Live Snooker (@Livesnooker) February 7, 2017
Welsh ace Day, meanwhile, enjoyed a 4-2 victory over last year’s World Grand Prix runner-up Bingham in the afternoon session.
Day established a 2-1 lead with a high break of 67 in frame one, and after Bingham had levelled with the aid of an 86 break, ‘Dynamite’ took the next two in quick succession to seal his spot in the Last 16.
Shaun Murphy kick-started the defence of his title with a commanding 4-1 win over Michael Holt which included top breaks of 73, 60 and 73.
Masters runner-up Joe Perry continued his fine run of form with a 4-2 defeat of two-time World Champion Mark Williams, recovering from 2-0 down to reel off four consecutive frames including a top break of 84.
Ali Carter battled his way to a hard-fought deciding frame victory over emerging star Zhou Yuelong – who recovered from 3-1 behind to send the match the distance, only for ‘The Captain’ to utilise his vast experience and seal the deal.
Northern Ireland Open winner Mark King was another last-frame victor as he held his nerve to see off a frustrated Stephen Maguire – who squandered a 3-2 advantage.
Scotland’s Anthony McGill made light work of Dave Gilbert, running out a 4-1 winner, while Marco Fu compiled high breaks of 105 and 85 in dispatching Jamie Jones – who himself produced a top effort of 121.
Ladbrokes World Grand Prix 2017 Results
Tuesday February 7
Stuart Bingham 2-4 Ryan Day
Mark King 4-3 Stephen Maguire
Shaun Murphy 4-1 Michael Holt
Mark Williams 2-4 Joe Perry
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Yan Bingtao
David Gilbert 1-4 Anthony McGill
Marco Fu 4-2 Jamie Jones
Ali Carter 4-3 Zhou Yuelong