Brecel and Bingham out but Ding safely through in World Championship opening round

Brecel and Bingham out but Ding safely through in World Championship opening round

Five seeds have already been defeated in just eleven games at the Crucible.

chris-lincoln
Chris Lincoln

Belgian hotshot Luca Brecel and 2015 world champion Stuart Bingham joined Mark Selby, Marco Fu and Shaun Murphy in early exits from the 2018 World Championship.

Brecel struggles to find any momentum

Brecel had plenty of work to do after finding himself 6-3 down to Ricky Walden overnight but could only sit and watch as the veteran opened the session with a 122 break. Brecel did manage to narrow the deficit, winning three out of the next four frames but the challenge in store was clear for all to see with a trio of those contests separated by less than 16 points.

Yet the only competitor from mainland Europe to reach this stage could not develop any momentum and Walden won the next two frames, ending the game with a break of 60, as he secured a 10-6 win and a second round clash with either Judd Trump or Chris Wakelin.

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Lisowski showing promise

Stuart Bingham was also defeated in a high-quality contest with Jack Lisowski that saw at least a half-century break in three of the 17 frames. Lisowski got himself amongst the balls, contributing 105, 54 and 128 in the first three frames but only winning two of them. Bingham responded with 123 himself but Lisowski showed his tactical prowess as he won the next three frames by close margins.

Bingham responded with three out of the next four with both players making breaks between 56 and 88 on their way to respective successes. Bingham also missed a chance of a maximum break. Yet Lisowski responded with three of his own in the next four, making 98 in frame 14. At 9-6 behind, Bingham fought to keep himself in the contest, scoring 55 to win frame 16 but a similar contribution in the next frame was not enough as Lisowski edged the final contest by 13 points.

Lisowski, who showed his fluidity with an average shot time of 18.9 seconds, will now face the winner of John Higgins against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the next round.

Ding impresses, Williams looking strong but Robertson in trouble

Elsewhere, Ding Junhui secured a comfortable victory in very quick time against compatriot Xiao Guodong. 6-3 down after the first session, Xiao could only score 14 points as he watched Ding make breaks of 61, 78, 51 and 98 on his way to a 10-3 win with a 93% pot success rate.

Mark Williams will also be looking for a straightforward second session as breaks of 63, 102, 84 and 51 eased him into a 7-2 lead over Jimmy Robertson.

However, former world champion Neil Robertson has it all to do against Robert Milkins. The Australian's highest break is 72 and he finds himself 6-3 behind to the qualifier who contributed four breaks between 54 and 91.

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