Four seeds fall in Shanghai

Former world champions Shaun Murphy and Peter Ebdon were among four seeded casualties in the first round of the Shanghai Masters during early action today.

Former world champions Shaun Murphy and Peter Ebdon were among four seeded casualties in the first round of the Shanghai Masters during early action today.

Chinese favourite Ding Junhui, World Championship runner-up Ali Carter and Murphy and Ebdon were all sent crashing out at the Grand Stage venue.

The vocal Chinese crowd were stunned to see Stoke’s Dave Harold advance at the expense of Ding.

Harold won 5-3, finishing with a break of 75, to set up a meeting with Steve Davis in the last 16.

Murphy, who won his world title in 2005, was hammered 5-1 by Devon’s world number 56 player Andy Hicks.

Hicks made breaks of 57, 71, 127, 41 and 51, and Murphy said: “If you watched the match it speaks for itself. Andy played very well and I didn’t. It’s not complicated.”

Hicks will play either Marco Fu or Anthony Hamilton in the last 16.

Ebdon was leading 3-2 in his match against Stuart Bingham but lost the next three frames to the 32-year-old from Essex who now awaits Stephen Maguire or Barry Hawkins in the next round.

“I played pretty well,” said Bingham.

“Any result against Peter Ebdon, a former world champion, is a great result. I was 3-2 down then made a 100 and took confidence from that.”

Carter was beaten 5-2 by two-time former world champion Mark Williams.

Williams, now ranked 22nd in the world, faces Jamie Cope in the next round after the latter received a bye to the last 16 because Graeme Dott has broken his left arm.

Scotsman Dott will fly home tomorrow to have an operation after falling while playing football outside the players’ hotel in Shanghai.

Dott is hoping to be fit for the Royal London Watches Grand Prix in Glasgow, which starts on October 11.

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