Very rarely do we see a modern snooker tournament conclude the opening two rounds of the competition without a surprise result but that has been the case at the Shanghai Masters this week.
Neil Robertson and Champion of Champions winner Shaun Murphy failed to make it past the qualification rounds last month but a number of World class players still remain after easing through the first three days of competition. After defending champion Ding Junhui withdrew before qualifying started in October, the new destination of the trophy is anyone's guess at this stage.
A trio of players yet to drop a frame
Judd Trump has been the star player so far, winning all ten of his frames as he comfortably defeated Alfie Burden and Ben Woollaston. That has also been the case for Luca Brecel and Martin Gould who could be dark horses for the trophy. However, Ronnie O'Sullivan has reached the final of two of the last three competitions and holds the highest break of the week when he recorded a 144 against Gary Wilson.
Mark Allen has dropped just one frame in two matches, seeing off the talented Yan Bingtao and experienced Fergal O'Brien in the process. John Higgins has won ten out of twelve frames, falling just short of a maximum break against Zhou Yuelong.
Marco Fu has only given away three frames and Barry Hawkins has dropped just five as six of the top ten seeds prepare for the last 16. Yet players outside of those rankings have also shown great form, with Liang Wenbo winning 5-0 and 5-2, whilst Mark Williams has lost just one frame.
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Selby losing ground
One man who does need to take his game through the gears is World champion, Mark Selby. The highest ranked player on the planet has been taken to final frame deciders by both Alan McManus and Chris Wakelin, with the latter making seven half-centuries during the opening round contest.
A handful of unexpected results have rolled out, despite the majority of the top 20 playing so well. Michael Holt lost 5-0 to Cao Yupeng ranked 51 places below him, whilst Ryan Day was defeated in a final frame decider by Yu Delu despite having 31 places on his Chinese opponent. Mark King also lost to Jamie Jones in the opening round despite a 22-place advantage.
The second round saw Mei Xiwen produce the biggest surprise as he defeated Jimmy Robertson 5-3. The number 71 seed is now the lowest ranked player left in the competition and he takes on Kurt Maflin in the third round. The winner of that contest could meet the only other player left outside the top 30, Jack Lisowski, but only if he surprises Mark Allen.