World number one Mark Selby was the big casualty from the opening round of matches at the World Grand Prix. The World Champion fought back from 3-1 down against Martin Gould only to be defeated in a final frame decider.
Higgins and Bingham also fail to progress
Selby managed to record three half century breaks but never looked in top gear against the experienced Gould. The underdog managed a 142 break on his way to a two frame lead before Selby dug deep to stay in the contest. However it was Gould who pounced on missed opportunities by Selby following a re-rack in frame seven to set up a second round tie with Joe Perry who defeated Mark Williams.
John Higgins was another surprise casualty as he also lost in a final frame decider to Michael White. The pair managed eight half century compilations between them before White formulated a match-high 96 on his way to a last sixteen contest with fellow Welshman Ryan Day, who himself produced an inspired tactical performance to defeat 2015 World Champion Stuart Bingham.
Ali Carter and Mark King added to the shortlist of players subjected to nerve-tangling deciders but came through to defeat Zhou Yuelong and Stephen Maguire respectively.
Murphy continues to defend his title
Reigning Champion Shaun Murphy progressed with a 4-1 victory against Michael Holt as he did not concede a point in the last three frames. However German Masters hero Anthony Hamilton saw his honeymoon period abruptly ended as he was defeated 4-0 by Mark Allen, with the Northern Irishman completing the whitewash with a 140 break.
Liang Wenbo also progressed without losing a frame as he defeated Dominic Dale, whilst Judd Trump made the highest break of the tournament thus far with a 145 against Tom Ford.
Neil Robertson overcame a challenging period where he could not get the balls to drop and eventually defeated Ricky Walden 4-2, whilst Ronnie O'Sullivan, Barry Hawkins, Anthony McGill, Marco Fu and Ding Junhui all progressed.
The second round fixtures read as follows:
Martin Gould v Joe Perry
Mark Allen v Liang Wenbo
Ronnie O'Sullivan v Neil Robertson
Barry Hawkins v Judd Trump
Ali Carter v Mark King
Anthony McGill v Marco Fu
Michael White v Ryan Day
Shaun Murphy v Ding Junhui