Two-time Shanghai Masters defending Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan first game of the season will be against an amateur after Zhang Yi shockingly defeated Ali Carter in the first round of the Shanghai Masters on Monday.
Zhang was able to make it through for the tournament by winning the Shanghai Amateur Masters during the weekend.
Not much was expected of the amateur player against two-time World finalist Carter, especially when the Englishman made a break of 117 in the opening frame.
Four wildcards have qualified since the Shanghai Masters changed to a non-ranking event last year either through the Amateur Masters or the Chinese Billiards and Snooker Association (CBSA) rankings. Zhang is the first of these qualifiers to win a match.
Zhan Yi relatively unknown to the snooker world but he has definitely made a big impression, and will face a stiff test against O’Sullivan.
Ronnie O’Sullivan, the defending champion in Shanghai, will take on Zhang at 12.30pm UK time on Tuesday live on Eurosport 2.
Ronnie had not played this season, with his last match also coming against an amateur, when he was taken by surprise in the first round of the World Championship by James Cahill.
While that defeat to the youngster was one of the biggest shocks ever at the Crucible, a loss to Zhang on Tuesday may be even more embarrassing, even if it is only over a best of 11 frames.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is available at 1.01 to win the game, while amateur Zhang Yi is priced at 16.31 to shock him.
The five-time World Champion has won the last two editions of the event, though, and will probably not be ready to relinquish his crown.
In other games in the 2019 Shanghai Masters, Wu Yize, another Chinese wildcard, was easily seen off 6-1 in the first round by 11th ranked Jack Lisowski on Monday, who will clash with Mark Selby in the last 16.
Playing with the World’s top 16 and the four wildcards are the four highest-ranked Chinese players outside of the top 16.
Round one saw Shaun Murphy smashing Lyu Haotian 6-1 and Barry Hawkins pushing out Yan Bingtao 6-5, though it has been a slow start for the qualifiers.
Written by: Aruorihwo Imisa