English Open: Defending champion Neil Robertson through to last 32

Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson joins Judd Trump and Mark Selby in the last 32 of the English Open

Defending champion Neil Robertson reached the last 32 of the English Open with a 4-3 victory over Lei Peifan.

Peifan overturned a three-frame deficit with three century breaks to force a decider in a thrilling comeback.

But world champion Robertson, 40, sealed the win in the seventh frame with a crucial 67 break.

Elsewhere, world number two Judd Trump booked his place in the last 32 with a 4-1 win over Craig Steadman.

Kyren Wilson beat Ben Woollaston 4-0 and Mark Selby beat Joe O’Connor 4-2.

UK Championship winner Mark Allen beat Dylan Emery 4-1, Ali Carter beat Chen Zifan 4-0, Ding Junhui won 4-1 against Xu Si and John Higgins cruised past Mark King 4-1.

Marco Fu continued his return to action in his first-round match after not playing between February 2020 and April 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic and eye surgery.

The 2008 UK Championship runner-up, who reached the last 64 by beating Jimmy Robertson 4-1, told “It’s nice to be back competing and playing to a decent standard. I have missed so many tournaments over the last few years.

“I enjoy being around the other players, they are like a snooker family. But when the trips are too long, it is difficult mentally, I don’t feel healthy.

“The last time I came to the UK I needed to stay for three months because of the quarantine policy in Hong Kong.”

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