Shaun Murphy fails to qualify for season-opening major

Shaun Murphy

Former world champion Shaun Murphy has failed to qualify for the Wuxi Classic competition after suffering a shock 5-1 defeat against newcomer Alex Davies.

This is the first time that players ranked in the top 16 have had to qualify for a major snooker tournament.

But 30-year-old Murphy, fourth in the world rankings, was beaten by 25-year-old Davies, who only secured his place on the snooker tour earlier this month.

World number one Mark Selby also failed to qualify for the main event in China.

The qualifiers took place at the Capital Venue in Gloucester, with all 128 tour players starting in the same round as part of a new format.

Selby was beaten by Welshman Andrew Pagett on Monday and Murphy, the 2005 world champion, lost five frames in a row to be defeated by Essex-based Davies.

This was Davies's first competition as a professional after winning a tour card less than three weeks ago.

The Wuxi Classic is the first ranking event of the season and will be held in China from 17 to 23 June.

Nine-time women's champion Reanne Evans is one of the 64 players to have qualified after she defeated Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-Nooh on Tuesday.