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Mark Selby beats Xu Si 4-2 in the first round

The first round of the Northern Ireland open held at the Waterfront Hall on Monday saw Mark Selby beating 21-year-old World number 97- Xu Si by 4-2.

The Jester from Leicester clinched the first frame with a break of 78, but Xu Si took the next two before he missed a dull black, which would have catapulted him two clear.

A 64 break edged Selby 3-2 ahead, and the world number six also won the next.
Selby, who only recently won the Crawley event, positions himself as the only player who can lift a £1m bonus for triumphantly winning all four Home Nations Series.

The three-time world champion beat David Gilbert 9-1 in the final of the English Open in Crawley last month, with the Scottish Open to come in December and the Welsh Open in February.

Others who emerged victorious on day one in Belfast were former Ali Carter, who thrashed Robert Milking 4-1, and Yan Bingtao, who won Andy Hicks.

Gerard Greene lost 4-1 to Marco Fu, while Chris Wakelin was sent packing after a clash with Matthew Stevens ended 4-1, and the winner of the 2017 edition of the event-Mark King crashed out courtesy of Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

Former World Champion Ken Doherty edged past British-Cypriot professional Michael Georgiou 4-2, while Stephen Maguire had a whitewash win against Declan Lavery 4-0.
Former Six-red World Champion Ding Junhui comes up against David Lilley, while John Higgins “The Wizard of Wishaw” battles Chang Bingyu. Former world champion Shaun Murphy plays Fraser Patrick.

World number one Judd Trump, Antrim’s Mark Allen, Neil Robertson, and crowd favorite Ronnie O’Sullivan nicknamed the “Rocket” all progressed to round one on Tuesday.
The winner of the tournament collects £70,000 and The Alex Higgins Trophy.

Written by: Imisa Aruorihwo.

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