China Open - Round One: Superb snooker with some surprising scorelines

Neil Robertson, Martin Gould, Joe Perry, Barry Hawkins and Ding Junhui have all been dumped out of the competition at the first hurdle.

China Open - Round One: Superb snooker with some surprising scorelines
Neil Robertson has reached three finals but also lost six opening round matches this season. (Photo: Getty Images)

One of the most unpredictable seasons of recent times continued with a host of shock results in the penultimate major ranking competition of 2015/16, the China Open.

Ding dumped, Robertson rumbled and Gould taught a lesson

Home favourite Ding Junhui failed to make it past the qualifying round as he was defeated 5-1 by world number 77 Lee Walker, ranked 66 places below him.

Walker was to later continue his form in the first round with another shock victory over Li Hang, ranked 22 places his superior. Players Championship winner Mark Allen had also been halted at the same stage a few weeks ago and Liang Wengbo was another top 20 player disposed of before making round one, losing out to Peter Lines 54 places below him.

Further big names followed and took an early trip home in round one; quite a substantial flight for many of them. UK Championship winner Neil Robertson has endured an inconsistent season and he was defeated by world number 102 Noppon Saengkham, a player he had 99 places on in the rankings.

One of the players of the season, Martin Gould was also embarrassed as the German Masters champion was defeated 5-0 by Yuan Sijun, who is still at school in China.

World number nine Joe Perry is ranked 81 places above Alfie Burden but he was also whitewashed in the opening round of the tournament. Barry Hawkins is ranked 12th but was eventually dismissed in a final frame decider by Tian Pengfei, 39 places below him. Welsh youngster Michael White lost 5-1 to Jack Lisowski despite a 28 place advantage, whilst former great Peter Ebdon was whitewashed by Ian Burns ranked 39 places below him.

Yuan Sijun, just 15-years-old, whitewashed Martin Gould on Tuesday. (Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty)
Yuan Sijun, just 15-years-old, whitewashed Martin Gould on Tuesday. (Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty)

Old and new stars continue to fade away

Another former top 10 player, Joe Swail was on the wrong end of a defeat to Martin O'Donnell who he has 35 places on, whilst Rhys Clark won a deciding frame despite being 80 places below Mark Davis. Young starlet Luca Brecel has been pulling up trees this season but he was another victim of a surprise defeat, losing 5-2 to Mark Joyce, who is 12 places his inferior.

Alan McManus, Jamie Jones, Anthony McGill and Ali Carter were also defeated by lower ranked opponents as 13 of the 32 round one matches encountered surprise results.

Top 10 players Judd Trump, Shaun Murphy, John Higgins, Stuart Bingham and Ricky Walden all remain, but with Ronnie O'Sullivan and world number one Mark Selby withdrawing, the race for the China Open crown has been blown wide open.