Eager not to miss the first ranking event of the snooker season, Wales’ Mark Williams played in last year’s Shanghai Masters in a cast to protect a broken wrist.
Fully fit this time around, the two time world champion is hot favourite to beat England’s Ricky Walden in today’s first round match.
Online bookmakers are offering free bets to new customers for the tournament held at the Shanghai Stage from 6 – 12 September.
William’s is available at odds of 10/1 with Boylesports to win this tournament and has a good track record in the far-east having three Thailand Masters and four China Open titles to his credit.
Scotland’s Graeme Dott, runner-up to Neil Robertson in 2010 World Championship final, beat Ken Doherty 5-4 in a tight first round encounter.
Former world champion Ken Doherty had beaten Pakistan national champion Mohammad Sajjad in an anxious 5-4 win in the wildcard round to set up a first round match with Dott.
FIRST ROUND RESULTS
Jamie Burnett (Sco) w/o Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng)
Stephen Maguire (Sco) 5-3 Judd Trump (Eng)
Graeme Dott (Sco) 5-4 Ken Doherty (Ire)
Mark Allen (NI) 3-5 Stuart Bingham (Eng)
Liang Wenbo (Chn)) 3-4 Matthew Stevens (Wal)
FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE
Tue 1245: Ryan Day (Wal) v Andrew Higginson (Eng)
Tue 1245: Marco Fu (HK) v Mark Davis (Eng)
Tue 1245: Mark Williams (Wal) v Ricky Walden (Eng)
Wed 0730: Jamie Cope (Eng) v Steve Davis (Eng)
Wed 0730: Neil Robertson (Aus) v Peter Ebdon (Eng)
Wed 0730: Ali Carter (Eng) v Dave Harold (Eng)
Wed 0730: Mark Selby (Eng) v Mei Xi Wen (Chn)
Wed 1245: Ding Junhui (Chn) v Jin Long (Chn)
Wed 1245: Shaun Murphy (Eng) v Stephen Lee (Eng)
Wed 1245: Stephen Hendry (Sco) v Martin Gould (Eng)
Wed 1245: Mark King (Eng) v Joe Delaney (Ire)