Doherty avoids first-round embarrassment

Doherty avoids first-round embarrassment

Ken Doherty came from 3-1 and 4-2 down to beat Mohammad Sajjad 5-4 and avoid an embarrassing first-round exit in the Shanghai Masters.

Doherty struggled in the early going, with Sajjad taking the fourth frame 107-17 to move 3-1 ahead.

Doherty got one back but Sajjad took the fourth frame 65-13 to move 4-2 up and put Doherty on the brink of elimination.

However, he recovered his composure to string together the final three frames and go through, with a break of 83 in the decisive ninth frame affording Sajjad no opportunity.

Jamie Burnett is already through to the last 16 after beating Tian Pengfei 5-2.

The winner of the match was due to play Ronnie O’Sullivan in the next round, but the Rocket’s decision to stay at home with his family means Burnett gets a bye.

Pengfei showed plenty of fight early on, with his break of 130 tying the game at 1-1 before he took a 2-1 lead.

But Burnett showed he could go one better, literally, with a break of 131 putting him 3-2 up before he wrapped up the final two frames to advance.

Andrew Higginson recovered from losing the opening frame to win the final three frames and beat Rouzi Maimaiti 5-2, while Jin Long saw off Robert Milkins 5-2.

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