JUDD TRUMP, John Higgins and Ding Junhui all advanced to the last 32 of the China Open in Beijing on Tuesday.
The celebrated trio made untroubled progress into the next round, losing just four frames between them. Trump beat Kurt Maflin 5-1, Higgins defeated Michael Wasley 5-2 and Ding celebrated his 27th birthday with a 5-1 victory over John Astley.
Trump won two key frames in building a 4-0 lead over Maflin, securing the third on the pink and the fourth on a re-spotted black. Maflin countered with a break of 80 in the fifth but Trump completed victory in the next with a run of 70.
Higgins, whose last major title came at last season’s Shanghai Masters, began with a 115 break but trailed Wasley 2-1. However, the four times world champion cleared yellow to pink to win the fourth frame, won the closely contested fifth and then pulled away to victory.
Ding, seeking his fifth ranking title of the campaign, lost the first frame but soon exploited a number of chances gifted by rookie pro Astley. Ding’s highest break was 83 in the third frame.
Peter Ebdon, the China Open champion in 2009 and 2012, beat Jimmy Robertson 5-3, making a 119 break in the seventh frame.
Photographs by Monique Limbos.