World number four Shaun Murphy was one of several players on the receiving end of an upset at the China Open, in the last tournament before the season finale World Championships in a couple of weeks time.
Mark is the King against Murphy
Murphy saw his hopes of a second trophy this season evaporate when world number 37 Mark King dished out a 5-3 victory to dismiss one of the tournament favourites. Murphy was followed out of the tournament by young starlet Kyren Wilson who was stunned 5-1 by Rod Lawler ranked 33 places below him.
The greatest shock of the day in terms of ranking place difference came when Neil Robertson's nemesis Noppon Saengkham continued his good run of form with a 5-4 victory over Ben Woollaston a mere 77 places his superior. Martin O'Donnell achieved a similar feat as he hammered Matthew Selt 5-1, despite possessing a ranking 66 places below his opponent, progressing to a quarter-final tie with Mark King in the process.
McLeod through as the competition is blown wide open
The surprises did not finish there as local favourite Tian Pengfei added Michael Holt alongside Barry Hawkins in higher ranked opponents he had beaten this week. Rory McLeod, ranked 57th, completed the shock results with his 5-2 success over Mike Dunn sitting 19 places above him.
The continued downfall of high profile names such as Murphy plays into the hands of the likes of Judd Trump, Stuart Bingham, John Higgins and Ricky Walden, the only top ten players remaining. Trump has arguably the tie of the third round as he takes on Marco Fu for a place in the last eight.
Last 16 draw
Dale v Maguir
Burden v McLeod
Trump v Fu
O'Donnell v King
Saengkham v Dott
Gilbert v Higgins
Pengfei v Walden
Lawler v Bingham