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Ding survives Wattana scare at the World Open as Cahill sends Wenbo crashing out

Relief for Ding Junhui (credit: Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Defending champion Ding Junhui battled back to avert an early exit at the 2018 World Open as he edged out James Wattana in a deciding frame on Monday, while James Cahill thrashed Liang Wenbo.

Home favourite Ding, whose partner is due to give birth to their first child in a matter of days, dug deep to clinch the last two frames and deny the Thai veteran a huge scalp.

Wattana, 48, took the opening frame but saw the second slip through his grasp despite a break of 52.

A 53 break handed Ding the lead before he dominated frame four by 83 points to nil to make it 3-1, but only for Wattana to real off three consecutive frames with breaks of 59, 54 and 102 to move within one of victory.

Ding clinched a cagey eighth frame to force a decider, before underlining his class with a clinical break of 80 to set up a First Round meeting with compatriot Yuan Sijun on Tuesday.

China's number two, however, found himself on the wrong end of a major upset as Liang went down 5-1 to 22-year-old Cahill in their held over tie.

Cahill, who qualified as an amateur, saw Liang take the first frame with an 80 break before overturning a 51 break from the former English Open winner in frame two and going on to win five in a row to seal a famous triumph.

Liang Wenbo reacts (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
Elsewhere, Jack Lisowski continued his blistering start to the season by whitewashing Chris Wakelin 5-0 in under an hour.

Lisowski, who finished runner-up at the recent Riga Masters, powered in breaks of 94, 115 and 70 to brush aside this year's debutant Crucible qualifier and reach Round Two.

Riga Masters champion Neil Robertson booked his place in the main draw courtesy of a 5-0 rout of local qualifier He Guoqiang, compiling a brace of centuries (110 and 109) along the way.

World Champion Mark Williams narrowly survived a scare as he came from 3-2 and 4-3 down to edge out Germany's Lukas Kleckers in a last-frame decider.

Williams began brightly with a break of 120 and doubled his lead before Kleckers replied with successive breaks of 73 and 85 to level.

The youngster then edged a close-run fifth frame before Williams replied with a 52 break to level, but only for Kleckers to make a 66 and go within a frame of victory.

Williams, however, kicked in when it mattered most as he fired in breaks of 94 and 77 to set up a First Round meeting with Alexander Ursenbacher of Switzerland.

Ali Carter, the 2016 champion, whitewashed Rory McLeod 5-0, while Barry Hawkins produced high breaks of 84, 83 and 124 en route to a 5-2 defeat of Thailand's Akani Songsermsawad.

Marco Fu continued his comeback from eye surgery with a 5-4 win over former World Champion Peter Ebdon with a top break of 90.

Welshman Jak Jones enjoyed a 5-3 victory over Zhang Anda, as former China Championship winner Luca Brecel held on to deny Scott Donaldson in a tense decider.

World Open 2018 Results


Monday August 6

Round One (H/O = Heldover match)

Neil Robertson 5-0 He Guoqiang (H/O)
Yan Bingtao 5-3 Ashley Carty (H/O)
Mike Dunn 5-0 Luo Zetao (H/O)
Ben Woollaston 5-1 Bai Langning (H/O)
Jimmy Robertson 4-5 Chang Bingyu (H/O)
Robert Milkins 5-4 David Lilley
Matthew Stevens 0-w/o David Gilbert
Lee Walker 4-5 Matthew Selt

Liang Wenbo 1-5 James Cahill (H/O)
Mark Williams 5-4 Lukas Kleckers (H/O)
Marco Fu 5-4 Peter Ebdon
Dominic Dale 3-5 Ricky Walden
Fergal O'Brien 5-4 Zhao Xintong
Zhou Yuelong 2-5 Jamie Jones
Rod Lawler 3-5 Noppon Saengkham
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 4-5 Stephen Maguire

Ding Junhui 5-4 James Wattana (H/O)
Rory McLeod 0-5 Ali Carter
Barry Hawkins 5-2 Akani Songsermsawad
Scott Donaldson 4-5 Luca Brecel
Gary Wilson 5-3 Tom Ford
Ryan Day 5-2 Robbie Williams
Jak Jones 5-3 Zhang Anda
Jack Lisowski 5-0 Chris Wakelin


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Ding survives Wattana scare at the World Open as Cahill sends Wenbo crashing out

Defending champion Ding Junhui battled back to avert an early exit at the 2018 World Open as he edged out James Wattana in a deciding frame on Monday, while James Cahill thrashed Liang Wenbo.

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