Defending champion Shaun Murphy has crashed out at the first attempt at the 2016 Masters Snooker, losing 6-4 to Mark Allen at Alexandra Palace on Sunday.
Later in the day, England's Stuart Bingham beat China's Ding Junhui by the same scoreline.
Here are the latest scores and updated schedule after the first day of action:
|Shaun Murphy||4-6||Mark Allen|
|Stuart Bingham||6-4||Ding Junhui|
|(8) Barry Hawkins||vs.||(10) Joe Perry|
|(5) Judd Trump||vs.||(16) Stephen Maguire|
|(4) Neil Robertson||vs.||(15) Marco Fu|
|(3) Mark Selby||vs.||(12) Ricky Walden|
|(6) Ronnie O'Sullivan||vs.||(13) Mark Williams|
|(7) John Higgins||vs.||(15) Liang Wenbo|
|Mark Allen||vs.||Barry Hawkins or Joe Perry|
|Stuart Bingham||vs.||John Higgins or Liang Wenbo|
|Monday, Jan. 11||1 p.m. GMT||Judd Trump vs. Stephen Maguire|
|Monday, Jan. 11||7 p.m. GMT||Barry Hawkins vs. Joe Perry|
Murphy matched the Northern Irishman early on as the pair exchanged frames with both players making strong starts. Allen claimed the first 73-10 before Murphy levelled.
The third was a particular highlight as Allen cleared out with the highest break of the match, per World Snooker:
Murphy again pegged him back before the 29-year-old showed more tremendous quality to take a 3-2 lead with a dominant fifth frame.
Crucially, the reigning champion was unable to maintain the earlier pattern and disastrously forfeited the sixth frame in dire circumstances—missing the same red three times:
Allen capitalised on the sloppy play with another ruthless century to take a 5-2 lead in the encounter—just one frame from victory.
Murphy threatened a great comeback as he fought back to 5-4 thanks to a 67 and a century of his own, but ultimately Allen was able to see out the memorable win and progress to the quarter-finals.
Allen was delighted and relieved with the result, per World Snooker:
Meanwhile, Murphy took to Twitter to praise his opponent:
What a difference a year makes. @pistol147 I thought you played really well and wish you great success this week. You fully deserve it mate.— Shaun Murphy (@Magician147) January 10, 2016
In the later match, Ding took a scrappy first frame before Bingham responded in style, equalising with a narrow 59-48 win in the second frame before pulling ahead without Ding getting on the board, though as World Snooker demonstrated it wasn't quite perfect:
With momentum and a little luck behind him, Bingham made it three frames in a row:
Two comfortable frames for Ding brought him right back into the encounter, however:
The pair then alternated frames to make it 4-4, the latter settled by an impressive 71 from two-time Masters finalist and 2011 winner Ding.
It was the Englishman who proved the most clinical, though, as he edged ahead 5-4 and then saw out the victory by two frames.
Bingham will face either John Higgins or Liang Wenbo in the quarter-finals on Friday. After knocking out such a strong competitor in Ding, he has shown his credentials for going far in the Masters this year.