LONDON, Jan. 13 (Xinhua) — Defending champion Mark Allen was upset by Belgium’s Luca Brecel 6-5 in the opening match of the Masters snooker tournament at Alexandra Palace here on Sunday.
Brecel, ranked 14th in the world, took the opening frame with a break of 75 then Allen levelled with a 67. Brecel won the next two frames to make it 3-1 at the interval.
World number six Allen fought back with 96 and 136 for 3-3. Brecel then made a 140 to regain the lead but Allen made 83 to level the score again. Brecel pulled ahead again with an 88 before Allen made a 99 to leave the score at 5-5.
The deciding frame was see-saw play and Brecel finally took the victory after a fabulous long red, which set up a break of 58 to give him control.
Brecel will next face the winner between Ding Junhui of China and Jack Lisowski of England on Thursday evening.
Allen said: “I’m very disappointed to lose. I definitely didn’t want to give my crown up as easily as I did in round one. But I’ve got no complaints. Luca played very well to beat me. I didn’t miss many pots but my long game wasn’t there today.”
In the other match on Sunday, four-time world champion John Higgins also suffered a suprise defeat, losing to Welshman Ryan Day 6-5 in the night session.