DING JUNHUI is the biggest casualty of the Wuxi Classic qualifiers so far, suffering a shock 5-0 defeat to an amateur, Oliver Brown, in Gloucester on Sunday night.

Ding, who won five ranking titles last season, managed a highest break of only 31 as he was whitewashed. Brown compiled a run of 72 in the third frame.

The absence of China’s no.1 from the final stages field delivers a blow to the tournament, which was formed off the back of his rise to the top.

Ding is from Wuxi and the event began as an invitation tournament in 2008 largely due to his success. It was upgraded to ranking status in 2012.

Ding’s defeat comes days after he was fined £5,000 following his decision not to attend the annual World Snooker awards.

Another amateur, Michael Tomlinson, caused an upset on Sunday when he defeated former British Open champion Nigel Bond 5-4.

On Saturday, the defending champion, Neil Robertson, qualified safely with a 5-1 defeat of Steven Hallworth, making his first century of the season.

Andrew Higginson got stuck in traffic on the way to Gloucester, was docked three frames and lost 5-0 to Joe O’Connor.

Matthew Stevens was beaten 5-4 by pool specialist Chris Melling, who returned to the professional circuit last week through the Q School.


Photographs by Monique Limbos.