Defending champion Mark Selby booked his place in the second round of the Matchroom.Live Scottish Open after a 4-1 win over Yuan Sijun.
Selby lifted the title 12 months ago with a 9-6 win over Jack Lisowski in Glasgow to capture the Stephen Hendry Trophy. Selby has already claimed silverware this season with victory at the European Masters, his 18th career ranking title.
The pair were forced to wait for the match to begin, with the late arrival of Covid-19 test results causing disruption to the majority of the day’s play. Having been scheduled to start at 1pm, Selby and Yuan eventually took to the baize at 6:45pm.
Despite the delay, three-time World Champion Selby came out of the blocks quickly with a run of 76 to take the opener. He then added a further two on the bounce to move one from victory at 3-0.
China’s 20-year-old talent Yuan then showcased his ability with a fine break of 122 to remain in the match. However, Selby closed out a professional win to seal progression to round two, where he will face Nigel Bond.
Selby said: “It was strange. To prepare myself to be ready for one o’clock and not go on until 6:45 was very difficult. It is what it is at the moment and I am happy to win the match and play okay in patches.
“It will be difficult to defend my title. My season so far has been consistent. I can’t really complain, winning a tournament and getting to a couple of semi-finals. When I’ve been beaten it has been Neil Robertson playing at the top of his game so you can’t be too disappointed with something like that.”
China’s Zhou Yuelong fired in the second 147 break of his career in a 4-1 defeat of Peter Lines.
The magical run came in the third frame and leaves Zhou in line for the £5,000 high break prize on offer this week.
It continues Zhou’s fine run of current form, he reached the semi-finals in last week’s Betway UK Championship, where he was beaten by eventual winner Neil Robertson.
Mark Allen made three consecutive centuries on his way to a 4-1 win over Jimmy White. The Pistol fired in breaks of 135, 110, 112 and 61 during the win. Victory strengthens Allen’s hopes of qualifying for next week’s World Grand Prix.
Barry Hawkins whitewashed Stuart Carrington 4-0, while Matthew Stevens edged out David Gilbert 4-3.
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