China's Yuan made his ranking event debut aged just 13 at the 2013 Shanghai Masters, and showed his star quality, beating Andrew Higginson 5-3 yesterday in the wildcard round, before whitewashing world number 13 Gould today with a top break of 102.
“My parents are not with me here because they would of made me nervous, which has happened before,” said Yuan. “Two big wins in a row is a breakthrough for me.”
11 years ago at this very tournament, 18-year-old Ding Junhui shocked the sporting world by beating Stephen Hendry in the final to win his first ranking tournament. He also started with a 5-0 win (over Peter Ebdon) in the first round that year, can Yuan emulate his run in Beijing this week? He faces 2006 world champion Graeme Dott next.
Former Rookie Of The Year winner Ian Burns also got his China Open campaign off to a blistering start, beating former world champion Ebdon 5-0 with a 135 break in the first frame, whilst their were better fortunes elsewhere for the current world champion Stuart Bingham who made three centuries in beating Sam Baird.
Although many big names have progressed to the Last 32 of the tournament, Judd Trump, Marco Fu, John Higgins, Ricky Walden and Bingham are the only Top 16 players left in the draw, with Shaun Murphy and Barry Hawkins to play tomorrow. Mark Allen, Mark Williams and Ding Junhui lost in qualifying, Mark Selby withdrew for health reasons and both Neil Robertson and Joe Perry lost in the first round.
Although he didn't opt to play in the Players Championship Finals or the China Open, Ronnie O'Sullivan is the betting man’s favourite for the World Snooker Championship, and as such, punters are eyeing up his potential rivals this week to see if the five-time world champion can capture a sixth Crucible crown this season, putting him level with his idol Steve Davis.
For all the scores, results and the draw from the China Open 2016, head to snooker.org.