Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump enjoyed dominant victories on Day One of the 2022 European Masters in Milton Keynes on Monday.
The season’s 11th ranking event got under way at the Marshall Arena, featuring the four remaining qualifying round matches and a host of First Round ties.
Trump, the 2016 and 2017 European Masters champion, was among the top four seeds to have their qualifying round match held over to the main venue, and wasted no time in booking his place in the Last 64.
The world number three stormed to a 5-0 whitewash of Ireland’s Michael Judge with high breaks of 66, 93, 53 and 129 to set up a First Round meeting with Jak Jones on Tuesday.
O’Sullivan, the 2016 European Masters runner-up, eased his way into the main draw courtesy of a 5-1 rout of Nigel Bond.
The reigning World Grand Prix champion, who continues to chase down the world number one spot, kicked off the contest with a break of 82 en route to a 3-0 lead.
Bond dug deep to get off the mark prior to the interval, but a majestic 132 clearance followed by a half century saw O’Sullivan safely over the line as he confirmed a tie against Zhang Anda on Tuesday afternoon.
Reigning Masters and Players Champion Neil Robertson is also into the main draw after overcoming 18-year-old Lei Peifan 5-2 with top breaks of 130, 98, 67 and 52 along the way.
The biggest upset of the opening day saw world number 81 Ashley Hugill knock out world number 17 Jack Lisowski 5-3.
Hugill, who had an average shot time of 31 seconds, produced breaks of 84, 59, 68 and 54 to book his place in the Last 32.
Meanwhile, Mark Selby began the defence of his title with a 5-3 victory over Matthew Selt in the qualifying round.
Selt made a superb start with a break of 113 to clinch the opening frame before Selby hit back with breaks of 70 and 79 to lead 2-1.
Selt restored parity in frame four before Selby replied with breaks of 68 and 128 for a 4-2 advantage.
Selt rallied again to close the gap to just one behind, but a timely break of 58 saw Selby close out victory to set up a meeting with Welsh Open champion Jordan Brown in the Last 64.
David Gilbert wrapped up a narrow 5-4 victory over Liam Highfield in style with a break of 105 in the deciding frame to add to his earlier century.
Kyren Wilson was a convincing 5-2 winner over Jamie Jones which he sealed with a century break, while Graeme Dott came from 3-0 down to snatch a 5-4 victory over Mark Davis.
Yan Bingtao and Zhou Yuelong saw off Li Hang and Gao Yang 5-1 respectively, as Masters finalist Barry Hawkins dispatched Anthony Hamilton 5-3 with a trio of 60-plus breaks.
European Masters 2022 Day One Results
Monday February 21
Round One (Q = Held over qualifier)
Xiao Guodong 5-2 Andy Hicks
Zhou Yuelong 5-1 Gao Yang
Kyren Wilson 5-2 Jamie Jones
Aaron Hill 3-5 Fan Zhengyi
Yan Bingtao 5-1 Li Hang
Joe Perry 5-2 Cao Yupeng
Mark Selby 5-3 Matthew Selt (Q)
Judd Trump 5-0 Michael Judge (Q)
Graeme Dott 5-4 Mark Davis
Luca Brecel 5-3 Gary Wilson
Jackson Page 3-5 Sunny Akani
Jamie O’Neill 1-5 Ryan Day
Neil Robertson 5-2 Lei Peifan (Q)
Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-1 Nigel Bond (Q)
Soheil Vahedi 2-5 Ashley Carty
Liam Highfield 4-5 David Gilbert
Anthony Hamilton 3-5 Barry Hawkins
Jack Lisowski 3-5 Ashley Hugill