Defending champion Stuart Bingham got his defence under way against the super talented Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.
Bingham raced into a 3-1 interval lead with the highlight of that mini session a sensational break of 114 and he wasted no time after the interval in taking a 4-1 lead with another frame winning break of 95. Bingham then won a lengthy 6th frame on the pink to extend his lead to 5-1 but the master’s debutant hit back with breaks of 68 and 80 to cut the deficit to 5-3. In frame 9 Un-Nooh stroked in a magnificent century break to really put the cat amongst the pigeons and move within 1 frame of the defending champion at 5-4. In frame 11 Thepchaiya had the first chance to make his comeback complete but missed a tricky pink with the rest and Bingham swooped in with a break of 67 to wrap up victory.
The evening session saw former master’s champions Mark Williams and Shaun Murphy face each other for a place in the quarter finals.
Murphy raced into a 3-1 lead with breaks of 50 and 93 but this doesn’t tell the story of the first four frames as Williams should of been level after losing a lengthy fourth frame of which he was in total control of until a very poor safety shot on the final pink which allowed Murphy a chance to take the ascendancy in the match which he did.
After the interval it was the Welshman who looked the stronger as he quickly levelled the match with breaks of 54 and 108.
The next two frames were shared before an excellent break of 81 from Murphy moved him one frame away from victory. Frame 10 was filled with drama as Williams produced a string of excellent pots to take him on the brink of forcing a decider but a missed red to the right centre pocket gave Murphy the chance to snatch victory and he did with an excellent clearance.
Murphy will now face this afternoon’s winner Stuart Bingham for a place in the semi finals.
Last 16 Draw
Stuart Bingham 6-4 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Shaun Murphy 6-4 Mark Williams
Mark Selby vs Stephen Maguire
Neil Robertson vs Yan Bingtao
Joe Perry 2-6 David Gilbert
Kyren Wilson 6-2 Gary Wilson
John Higgins vs Mark Allen
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