UK Championship: Cao Yupeng exits York in first round against Mark Davis
Last Updated: December 2, 2012 6:47pm
Cao Yupeng: Another Chinese star exits York
Veteran Mark Davis beat Cao Yupeng 6-1 as the third Chinese challenger for the UK Championship departed the event in York in the first round.
Youngster Cao caused a stir in April by beating Mark Allen in the first round of the World Championship, but never looked likely to build on that against veteran Hastings potter Davis.
Cao joins a casualty list of Chinese players that began with Saturday's defeats for Liang Wenbo and former UK champion Ding Junhui.
With soaring interest and money flooding into the game from China, there are now more major tournaments staged in the country than in the United Kingdom, but on the table there remains a gulf in standards.
World number 65 Cao, 22, was outplayed throughout by 40-year-old Davis, who has benefited from Ronnie O'Sullivan's hiatus from the sport and Stephen Lee's suspension by being nudged into the top 16 seeds for events, meaning he has avoided the qualifying rounds.
A stiff test is guaranteed for the experienced Sussex man in the second round, where John Higgins awaits him on Wednesday evening after the Scot's opening win over Michael Holt.
"He missed a few, and I wasn't expecting it," said Davis. "I was a little bit surprised but I was just trying to focus when I had chances to do what I can. I didn't miss a lot and I was happy with how I played."
Hong Kong's Marco Fu stands alone as Asia's final challenger at York's Barbican Centre, and he tackles Allen in a match that carries added spice due to Allen claiming after his loss to Cao at the Crucible that Fu was among several players from the Far East to have cheated in the past.
Shaun Murphy was UK champion in 2008 and the Manchester-based 30-year-old began another campaign with a comfortable enough 6-3 win over Gloucester's Robert Milkins.
Seven years have passed since Murphy made his big breakthrough by winning the World Championship as a qualifier.
He has four major ranking titles in all, and was a beaten finalist at the Masters in January, but the trophy tally should be higher according to the world number four - and his mother.
"My mum keeps telling me I should have won more and mums are normally right," Murphy said. "I would have liked to have added a few more trophies to my trophy cabinet, of course I would, but having got the biggest two and lost in the final of the third biggest last season I feel I'm on the right track. At 30 I've got the rest of my career to add to it."
Ali Carter claimed a scrappy first-round win over Steve Davis.
World Championship runner-up Carter was a 6-2 winner over the man who won this tournament six time in the 1980s.
Both men struggled for fluency, Carter's highest break of 88 and an 85 from Davis in the seventh frame quite out of keeping with the flow of the match.
Yet Carter was the most consistent of the two, with the 33-year-old from Tiptree in the end a convincing winner over the 55-year-old Brentwood veteran.
Davis struggled with his long-potting and said: "Ali's a very strong player. I didn't really perform well enough. It was a relatively easy day out for Ali.
"I'm disappointed but I shouldn't get too upset because I did qualify. It's
nice to play better out there than that. Ali's a potential winner of the tournament so I shouldn't moan. I expect him to win something big in the next couple of years."