Ronnie O’Sullivan’s first ranking event match of 2014/15 ended in a 5-3 defeat against Alan McManus at the Bank of Communications OTO Shanghai Masters.
Five-time World Champion O’Sullivan skipped the first two ranking events of the campaign – in Wuxi and Australia – and his stay at the third was short-lived as he failed to handle the challenge of veteran McManus.
There were only flashes of brilliance from the Rocket – notably a 139 total clearance in the third frame – and it was Glasgow’s 43-year-old McManus who dominated the latter stages, winning the last three frames from 3-2 down.
“We both struggled with the conditions,” said world number 26 McManus. “I won two or three scrappy frames and that was the difference. I didn’t play very well but sometimes you play poorly and manage to scrape through – I was fortunate to do that.
“I’m looking forward to practising for the next couple of days, getting some sleep as I have suffered from jet-lag, and feeling better for my next match. I’m sure I’ll play a lot better because I’ll feel more comfortable.”
O’Sullivan said: “Alan played a strong match, when he plays well he can beat anyone. I had a few chances but didn’t make the most of them. I love this tournament so I wish I could have played better.”
Another surprise result saw Chinese wild card Yan Bingtao beat Liang Wenbo 5-1 with a top break of 85. Yan, age 14 from the Shandong Province, said: “I felt like winning the match even before it started. The first frame was kind of key. I kept reminding myself to be relaxed. So after winning the first frame I was playing a fluent game. Anyone playing in the tournament should get nervous as we have so many top guns here.
“The facilities in the Acadamy I play at are second to none in China. I have improved a lot since I joined the acadamy and I think I can make a lot of 50 and 60 breaks during matches, which will bring a lot of pressure to my opponents. This is very important for me to get better.”
Michael White top-scored with 98 in a 5-1 defeat of Niu Zhuang, while Li Hang made a 102 in a 5-3 win over Chen.
PICTURES by Tai Chengzhe