World Snooker Open: Defending champion Williams out while runner-up Ding through

 Defending champion Mark Williams of Walse crashed out while runner-up Ding Junhui of China squeezed through in the first round of at 2011 World Snooker China Open here on Tuesday.

Defending champion Mark Williams stroked four centuries but still lost in the first round 4-5 to English cueman Stephen Lee.

Williams made two centries to 2-0 but Lee chased from behind winning the next three frames. Then Williams breezed another two centuries to regain the lead at 4-3, yet Lee leveled once again. At the deciding frame, the dramatic scene happened. By clearing the whole table, Lee made a brilliant 61 break to reverse Williams from 11-70 down.

“It’s not often you get four tons and lose. I played well but I can’t do much about it,” said Williams after the match. “I played well enough and can’t grumble as Stephen made a great dish-up to win the match.”

Ding Junhui of China

Lee praised the opponent’s performance as saying: “At times I looked helpless and anyone would have as Mark played some terrific snooker – every time he got to the table it seemed there was a century break.”

The other Stephen was not so lucky. World No. 7 Stephen Maguire of Scotland were ousted by Mark Davis of England at 3-5. “It’s always disappointing to lose at any time in any tournament and it’s a long way to travel for one match,” Maguire said.

Later, the local favorate Ding Junhui almost lost on his home field where he founded his fame.

Ding made too many unforced error before the interval at 1-3, while his opponent Kurt Maflin of Norway made a century break in the fourth frame. The wildcard Maflin dominated one more frame before Ding rocked back to win the rest four frames in a row at 5-4.

“I can’t concentrate at first. When I was 1-4 down, I had no choice but to catch every chance I got,” Ding said. He will challenge Stephen Hendry in the second round on March 31.

Shaun Murphy set up his second-round meeting with Chinese wildcard Li Hang who beat “The Pocket Dynamo” Graeme Dott of Scotland at 5-4. “The Pistol” Mark Ellen was also eliminated by Scottish wildcard Marcus Campbell at the same score.

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