Alfie Burden completed a whitewash win over his Welsh opponent, Kishan Hirani, to seal his place in the next round of the European masters. The world number 77 was a complete beast, dominating his opponent and chasing him out of the game like a common criminal. Hirani, world number 82, might not have been the favorite coming into the tie, but it was expected that he’d give Burden a good run for his money.
Disappointingly, he was given his marching orders by Burden and should now bow his head in shame.
Elsewhere, Marco Fu, world number 56, didn’t disappoint his fans in dispatching world number 31, Ricky Walden. It was a keenly contested game, but Marco Fu did just enough to come out tops. A 5-3 win for Fu has sent him into the second round of the European Masters qualifiers.
Ding Junhui was also in action, this time against Alexander Ursenbacher. The Chinese professional who is widely considered to be the best Asian player to have ever graced the sport showed his prowess, quality, and tenacity in defeating his Swiss opponent by a 5-1 scoreline.
The world number 9 was fancied in most quarters to emerge winner of this tie and did so in stunning fashion. It was a busy day at the office for Ursenbacher, who had to contain the brilliant Junhui. On the other hand, Junhui was having a field day, shoving aside his opponent with no stress at all.
It took John Higgins a little later than he should have, but in the end, he will be grateful he had a comfortable win over his opponent, Lei Peifan. It took Higgins seven frames to take out Lei Peifan in a 5-2 win for the 44-year-old. The world number 6 with that win keeps edging closer to the upcoming European Masters finals scheduled for 2020.
It was a tight game between Mark Selby and Ken Doherty, highlighted by a host of tense and nervy moments. However, it was Mark Selby who was given the nod to progress to the next round at the expense of Doherty. With a 5-4 win, Selby can be assured of a place in the next round.