Mark Allen crashes out of the British Open after Vafaei defeat
Mark Allen crashed out of the British Open after suffering a 3-2 defeat against Hossein Vafaei in the second round on Wednesday.
The world number 11 was the highest-profile casualty on day three at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Allen boasted a perfect record against the Iranian, winning each of their four previous meetings.
The Pistol made an ideal start with a quickfire break of 51 enough for him to draw first blood, though Vafaei followed suit to level in the next frame.
Allen had endured a frosty encounter with ex-partner Reanne Evans in the opening round.
But he enjoyed a contest played in great spirits 48 hours on with both players regularly sharing jokes during a lengthy third frame.
Allen looked good for 2-1 but missed the pink along the top rail, enabling world number 43 Vafaei to complete the turnaround.
The reigning Champion of Champions winner responded well with 61 to set up a decider. However, the Iranian held his nerve by producing a timely 55 to prevail.
Barry Hawkins and Masters champion Yan Bingtao were also among the big names to exit the competition in deciding frames.
Hawkins lost on the final black to Luca Brecel, while Yan was ousted by Germany’s Lukas Kleckers.
Stephen Maguire and Mark Williams just about managed to avoid joining them in the departure lounge.
World number nine and 2004 finalist Maguire twice came from behind to defeat Martin O’Donnell as three-time Crucible king Williams recovered from 2-0 down to see off compatriot Dominic Dale.
Ali Carter also prevailed in a decider against Lei Peifan, while Stuart Bingham made breaks of 92 and 62 in a 3-1 win over Robert Milkins.
Martin Gould had runs of 69, 93 and 53 on the way to beating Graeme Dott by the same scoreline, as Zhou Yuelong hit breaks of 53, 91 and 124 in a commanding 3-0 success against veteran Andy Hicks.
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British Open Snooker 2021 Results
Wednesday August 18
Zhao Xintong 2-3 Cao Yupeng
Michael Georgiou 3-0 Soheil Vahedi
Rory McLeod w/o Kurt Maflin
Si Jiahui 0-3 Oliver Lines
Li Hang 3-0 Sam Craigie
Duane Jones 3-1 Nigel Bond
Jamie Clarke 0-3 Pang Junxu
Ali Carter 3-2 Lei Peifan
Barry Hawkins 2-3 Luca Brecel
Lukas Kleckers 3-2 Yan Bingtao
Jamie Wilson 1-3 Mark King
Sean Maddocks 0-3 Noppon Saengkham
Fergal O’Brien 0-3 Gary Wilson
Stuart Bingham 3-1 Robert Milkins
Alfie Burden 1-3 Allan Taylor
Graeme Dott 1-3 Martin Gould
Martin O’Donnell 2-3 Stephen Maguire
Mark Williams 3-2 Dominic Dale
Liam Highfield 3-2 Chen Zifan
Ben Hancorn 3-2 Scott Donaldson
Mark Allen 2-3 Hossein Vafaei
Ashley Hugill 2-3 Anthony Hamilton
Zhou Yuelong 3-0 Andy Hicks
David Lilley 0-3 Jordan Brown