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Shaun Murphy narrowly avoided another upset as he edged past three-time women’s world champion Ng On Yee in the opening round of the Scottish Open in Llandudno.
Murphy trailed 3-1 in their best-of-seven encounter and looked set to become the first member of the men’s top 10 to lose to a female opponent in a ranking event.
His struggle came 10 days after he was dumped out of the UK Championship by Si Jiahui – prompting his hotly-contested claim that amateurs should not be allowed to compete in professional tournaments.
On Yee, handed a two-year tour card alongside Reanne Evans earlier this year, had opened with a break of 61, and a 60 clearance to black in the third frame took her to the brink of a famous win.
But after clawing back level, Murphy summoned a century in the decider.
Earlier Ronnie O’Sullivan shrugged off a slow start to ease into the next round.
O’Sullivan looked on the verge of falling 3-2 behind against fellow veteran Dominic Dale before he clicked into gear with breaks of 77 and 132 to secure a 4-2 win.
O’Sullivan, who celebrated his 46th birthday on Sunday, told Eurosport: “It’s like a nine to five job now – you turn up, you try to win your first match to get your expenses paid, and you’re happy.”
The Chinese success continued as Masters champion Yan Bingtao beat Zak Surety 4-0 while Pang Junxu also whitewashed former world finalist Barry Hawkins.
World number one Mark Selby fired two centuries and three more breaks over 50 as he eased to a 4-1 win over Sean Maddocks, while Judd Trump whitewashed Robert Milkins.
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