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Mark Williams makes winning start in Riga Masters as Murphy and Wilson also progress

Williams made a solid start to the new season (credit: Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

Mark Williams made a winning start to life as the reigning World champion on the opening day of the 2018 Riga Masters, while Shaun Murphy and Mark Allen also progressed to round two in Latvia.

The world number three was making his first appearance in professional competition since lifting his third Crucible crown in May.

Having received a wildcard-round walkover, he picked up from where he left off in Sheffield with four breaks over 50 on the way to a 4-2 victory over Ben Woollaston.

The Welshman was joined in round two by Murphy and Kyren Wilson – both of whom were 4-0 winners over David Lilley and Luke Simmonds respectively.

World number eight Murphy went close to a maximum in the opening frame of his showdown with Lilley, only to miss a straightforward yellow on 120 after potting 15 reds followed by blacks.

Masters champion Mark Allen was another of the top seeds to progress – doing so on the colours against Peter Lines – while Ali Carter also prevailed in a deciding frame to end the title defence of reigning champion Ryan Day.

Murphy was just six pots away from a magical maximum on Friday (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Joe Perry produced a timely break of 101 in the final frame of his clash with Robert Milkins, as Michael White and Graeme Dott also advanced in deciders against David Gilbert and Tian Pengfei respectively.

However, there was no joy for former champion Barry Hawkins, who was ousted in a deciding frame by Li Hang, while Luca Brecel was sent packing by Mark Davis and new Yorkshire professional Ashley Carty ended the hopes of Anthony McGill.

Elsewhere, 2016 winner Neil Robertson was a 4-2 victor against Li Yuan as was Jamie Jones over Rod Lawler despite losing his cue before leaving for Latvia, but Jimmy White’s journey was ended following a 4-0 defeat by a free-scoring Ricky Walden.


Riga Masters 2018 Results

Friday July 27

WC = Wildcard Round

Round One

1 Rodion Judin 0-4 Jimmy White (WC)
3 Graeme Dott 4-0 Maris Volajs (WC)
5 Jamie Jones 4-2 Rod Lawler
6 Chris Wakelin w/o Sam Craigie
7 Robbie Williams 3-4 Lukas Kleckers
8 Xu Si 2-4 Mark King
9 Mei Xi Wen 2-4 Joe Swail

2 Jamie Cope w/d-w/o Ryan Day (WC)
10 Stuart Carrington 4-3 Fergal O’Brien
11 David Lilley 0-4 Shaun Murphy
12 Nigel Bond 0-4 Zhao Xintong

13 Scott Donaldson 4-3 Robin Hull
14 Zhou Yuelong 1-4 Craig Steadman
15 Kurt Maflin 2-4 Liang Wenbo

4 Rhys Clark w/d-w/o Mark Williams
16 Li Yuan 2-4 Neil Robertson
21 Michael White 4-3 David Gilbert
33 Rory McLeod 0-4 Zhang Yong

22 Joe Perry 4-3 Robert Milkins
23 Stephen Maguire 4-1 Gerard Greene
24 Lee Walker 1-4 Joe O’Connor

17 Barry Hawkins 3-4 Li Hang
26 Niu Zhuang 0-4 Simon Bedford
28 Liam Highfield 1-4 Michael Holt

19 Mark Allen 4-3 Peter Lines
29 Tian Pengfei 3-4 Graeme Dott
30 Ashley Carty 4-2 Anthony McGill

18 Ricky Walden 4-0 Jimmy White
20 Ali Carter 4-3 Ryan Day
25 Luke Simmonds 0-4 Kyren Wilson
31 Xiao Guodong 1-4 Marco Fu

32 Mark Davis 4-2 Luca Brecel
34 Mark Williams 4-2 Ben Woollaston
35 Oliver Lines 4-2 Alfie Burden
36 Ian Burns 2-4 Jack Lisowski


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Mark Williams makes winning start in Riga Masters as Murphy and Wilson also progress

Mark Williams made a winning start to life as the reigning World champion on the opening day of the 2018 Riga Masters, while Shaun Murphy and Mark Allen also progressed to round two in Latvia.

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