Thai-Phoon Sets Up Rocket Clash

James Wattana

Former World No 3 James Wattana earned a match with Ronnie O'Sullivan by strolling through the wild card round at the Bank of Communication Shanghai Masters on Monday.

Thailand's Wattana, who won three ranking titles in the 1990s, saw off China's Jin Long 5-1 with top breaks of 79 and 75, and will now face O'Sullivan in the last 32 on Tuesday night.

"I didn't expect it to be easy but Jin can play a lot better than he did today," said 41-year-old Wattana. "I will try my hardest against Ronnie. We've had some great games in the past. He's the best player in the world, but on the day anything can happen. I'm hoping tomorrow will be my day."

Dominic Dale, who won the Shanghai event in 2007, had to come from 2-0 down to beat China's Cao Xinlong 5-3. Welshman Dale made a 102, the highest break of the match, in frame seven to go 4-3 ahead before completing victory in the next.

"I'm very relieved," admitted Dale, who now plays Shaun Murphy. "Cao is one of the slowest players I've ever faced, he has a similar style to Peter Ebdon. But he played well and scored heavily. I only missed one ball and I was 2-0 down. I made a good clearance to win the third frame and that was the turning point."

Overall it was a bad day for the local players as all eight wild cards lost to their professional opponents.

Performance of the day went to Gloucester's Robert Milkins who took just 54 minutes to beat Tang Jun 5-0, compiling runs of 70, 60, 109, 74 and 89.

He was almost matched by Anthony Hamilton, who made 123, 75, 60 and 52 in beating Li Hang 5-0.

Wild card round results

James Wattana 5-1 Jin Long
Fergal O'Brien 5-1 Hossein Vafaei
Anthony Hamilton 5-0 Li Hang
Jack Lisowski 5-2 Rouzi Maimaiti
Dominic Dale 5-3 Cao Xinlong
Nigel Bond 5-2 Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon
Robert Milkins 5-0 Tang Jun
Michael Holt 5-3 Cai Jianzhong

UK Championship
3-11 December, York Barbican
Book Now:
Tel: 0844 854 2757

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

Twitter: @Worldsnooker1