Williams routs local teenager Liang 5-0
Chinese teenager Liang Wenbo had to devour a 0-5 rout which was finished in just one hour and 15 minutes thanks to slick play by second-seeded Mark Williams of Wales at the inaugural China Open in Beijing yesterday.
Liang became the first Chinese player to enter the top 32 last Sunday with a dramatic come-from-behind 5-4 victory over the former British Open champion and world 28 Nigel Bond of England. But he totally lost his defence in the 5-0 demolition to the Wales' veteran.
"It is one of the worst matches in my life and now I just don't know what to say," said a disappointed Liang in a post-match news conference.
Facing a formidable Williams, the 17-year-old was almost glued to his chair after knocking in a 16 break in the first frame as the experienced second seed netted in a superb long pot on the red and then, with a flawless display, winning the first two frames.
"I am not nervous at the beginning of the match but when he cleared the table and left me no chance, I was totally shocked.
"I made too many mistakes and I just could not adjust myself when I was trapped. There is a big gap between us but I think if I could perform 100 per cent at my level, the possible score could be 5-3," Liang said.
Liang struggled a little bit as he tried some long shots in the third and fourth frames but the world No 11 Williams, with 15 Main Tour titles under his name, found all the possible access to attack before he rattled in a 65 clearance to win the match in the deciding fifth frame.
"I will go back home and think it over," said Liang with tears in his eyes. "But I will not give up and I will train harder," he added.
The Chinese teenager, based at the Snooker Academy in Wellingborough, is now competing in the World Challenge Tour, a lower tournament than the Main Tour. He is expected to get a chance to advance to the Main Tour in the coming 2006-2006 season.
"My agent told me I will play with Xiao Hui (Ding Junhui) from this July in the Main Tour," he said. "I hope I can get more opportunities to play against those snooker giants.
"I will beat him next time," he added.
On the other tables, world No 5 John Higgins of Scotland scored two centuries to beat Tom Ford of England 5-1 in his first China Open match.
The former world No 1 got off to a comfortable start as he wrapped up the first three frames with breaks of 113, 138 and 96, leading 4-0 in the interval time.
Ford then pulled one frame back but still struggled to find his shots before the Scot sealed victory in the sixth frame by pocketing the last black.
"I was bit surprised at how well I played because I've not really practiced since I've been here," said the Higgins. "I didn't miss a ball in the first three frames and that set me on the way."