Up first was another top tie, the current world champion Neil Robertson against the seven times world champion Stephen Hendry. Stephen got off with a great start, winning the first frame with a break of 74, but Neil took the second which was a more scrappy affair 58-29. Hendry hit back with another lovely break of 64 to take the third frame 79-14, but then Neil showed us why he was world champion with an excellent break of 85 to go 2-2 into the interval.
Unfortunately after this, Stephen seemed to go off the rails and Neil hammered in breaks of 86 and 81 to go 5-2 up, it was looking bleak for Stephen, he had missed so many long pots and was looking distraught. He managed to take the 8th frame 85-38 but the comeback was not to be as Neil took the final frame 83-2 to win by the biggest margin this tournament so far, 6-3. Hendry will really need to up his game at the German Masters and the Welsh Open or he could see himself dropping out of the top 16 and needing to qualify for the China Open and the Crucible. Robertson becomes the only seed to make it through so far and faces Mark Allen in the quarters.
The final match of the first round pits the magician and PTC order of merit leader Shaun Murphy against the new star in the top 16, the shotgun Jamie Cope. Both have had decent seasons so far, winning several matches each but both were looking to capitalize on the draw opening up from the top seeds dropping out. It didn't go to plan for Shaun though, as Jamie took the first two frames which included a break of 77 in the first. Murphy took the next 35-58 but Jamie stole the fourth on the back to win it 58-56 to go 3-1 up for the interval.
After several more scrappy frames which included another black ball finale going the way of Jamie once again, the scores were 5-3 to Cope. Both players were playing pretty bad, Jamie's pot success rate was 87% but I was shocked to see Shaun's at 76%, it's the lowest iv ever seen him at. Shaun once again gifted multiple chances to Jamie in the last frame though and he one it 75-0 to take frame and match 6-3. Shaun will be incredibly disappointed to lose after such a good season so far. Jamie will also be annoyed with how badly he played but will be happy that he get's to face Mark King in the quarter finals.
Neil Robertson 6-3 Stephen Hendry
0-74 (74), 58-29, 14-79 (64), 85-0 (85), 86-6 (86), 58-37, 82-6 (81), 38-85, 83-2
Jamie Cope 6-3 Shaun Murphy
89-13 (77), 57-36, 35-58, 58-56, 39-83, 64-63, 46-71 (50), 106-16, 75-0