Ding Junhui had to go out and buy a new pair of black trousers
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Ding Junhui needed a quick change after arriving in the wrong trousers for his opening match at the English Open in Brentwood before recovering from being docked a frame to grind out a 4-3 victory over Ma Hailong.
Ding had arrived in his usual brown suit with bow tie and waistcoat, which was not in line with the dress code for the Home Nations Series event of black shirt and black trousers.
After a friend headed out to Brentwood High Street to buy Ding some new clothes, he was late for his scheduled start time and so forfeited the first frame. Despite falling 3-1 behind, Ding mounted a recovery against his Chinese compatriot with breaks of 51 and 84 to complete a comeback win.
“I totally forgot that I needed a black shirt and trousers for this tournament. My memory is not good. I didn’t think about it,” Ding said afterwards, quoted on the World Snooker Tour website.
“Once I was playing I tried to just concentrate on the match. Luckily Ma’s safety was not that good and he gave me enough chances to win.”
Elsewhere in Monday’s early matches, Mark Allen made four consecutive century breaks – the highest 127 – as he thrashed Mostafa Dorgham 4-0 in less than an hour.
Ronnie O’Sullivan coasted past Andrew Pagett 4-0 and will next face Welshman Jackson Page, who beat Ken Doherty by the same scoreline, while John Higgins edged out Marco Fu 4-3, with a re-rack needed in frame one.
There were also wins for Jack Lisowski and Anthony McGill, but Jimmy White’s hopes of progress ended with a 4-2 defeat by Joe O’Connor.
In Monday’s late matches, world champion Luca Brecel narrowly avoided an upset as he came through a last-frame decider against 17-year-old Stan Moody.
Belgian Brecel – who became the first player from continental Europe to lift the title with victory over Mark Selby at the Crucible in May – had looked set for a routine win when he quickly opened up a 2-0 lead.
However, Moody, yet to win a tour match this season, fought back to take the third frame and then made breaks of 121 and 56 to seem on course for a memorable upset.
A missed red to the middle from Brecel then handed Moody a chance to clinch victory, but the teenager could not clear up. The deciding frame went the distance, with both players failing to build a match-winning break before the Belgian closed things out 52-42.
Former world champions Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy both suffered early exits as they were beaten by Sanderson Lam and China’s Liu Hongyu respectively.
Judd Trump, world champion in 2019, had little trouble as he dispatched Sean O’Sullivan 4-0, having never looked back after opening up with a 102 clearance.
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