Mumbai: The home challenge in the Indian Open Snooker Championship came to a grinding halt after India's lone pro tour card holder Aditya Mehta, runner-up in the first edition, went down 2-4 to third seed Ricky Walden of England in the second round here.
The 29-year-old Indian, ranked 50th in the world, was beaten 70(63)-0, 78-27, 77-13, 18-73, 0-76, 81-1 by the English world no. 8 in the 300,000 pound sterling world ranking tournament's second edition late last night.
Mehta had lost to Ding Junhui in the title contest of the inaugural edition of the tournament held in October, 2013 at New Delhi, but this time around both of them failed to recreate that magic. While Mumbai-born Mehta crashed out in the second round, Junhui, the world no. 4 exited last Wednesday after he was beaten 4-3 by highly talented left-handed wild card Thepchaiya Un-Nooh who reached the last 16 yesterday - in round one.
With the pendulum having swung the Indian's way, Mehta played aggressively to clinch the fifth frame 76-0 with the help of a foul by his rival on the brown and small breaks of 46 and 26 while his rival's three visits to the table did not yield a single point.
But in the sixth frame, Walden came up with a determined effort and finished off the Indian's challenge with two vital breaks of 43 and 34 in his first and fourth visits after Mehta had potted the red in his third visit and then failed to pocket any other ball. The match ended just past midnight.
The Englishman will meet China's Tian Pengfei, world no. 90, tomorrow for a place in the last eight. The latter outclassed Mark Joyce of England 4-1 in an earlier second round match.
In another late night game, word number six Judd Trump of England braved a shoulder injury to win a three-hour battle against compatriot Adam Duffy 4-3 to advance to the last 16.
Bristol's Judd, though not at his best, was good enough to defeat his opponent from Sheffield and earned a shot at former two-time world champion Mark Williams of Wales in the pre quarter finals.
Trump took the first two frames before Duffy grabbed the next three to jump to the lead before the former drew level. Trump won the slow-paced decider 58-22 to go through.
Nigel Bond of England, the world no. 65, ousted world no. 38 Dechawat Poomjaeng of Thailand 4-3, knocking in a break of 109 in the sixth frame to draw level and then winning the decider 63-37.
In another second round matches, Welsh Open champion John Higgins of Scotland, a four-time world champion, defeated Jamie Cope of England 4-2 with a top break of 54 to earn a meeting with Mark Davis of England for a place in the quarters.
"It was a really scrappy match. Conditions are tough so you just have to try to scrap out a win and hope to play better in your next match," said Higgins whose fourth and last world title came four years ago.
On day one of the five-day event, six Indian wild cards led by national champion Pankaj Advani made an exit with only Advani and Dharminder Lily going down after a fight by losing 3-4 in the best-of-seven-frame matches. Mehta had raised visions of another fairy-tale progress in the tournament when he scored his maiden win, after four straight losses against higher-ranked Mark King of England 4-3 (82-7, 60-17, 78-9, 25-104, 56-57, 45-76, 76-4) to enter the second round.
However, the 32-year-old Walden who had beaten Mark Allen 10-7 in the final of the International Championship in China last November, proved too wily and skilful a customer for the top Indian player who fought well from 0-3 to 2-3 before losing.
Walden, who has also won the 2008 Shanghai Masters and 2012 Wuxi Classic, jumped to a 3-0 lead by taking the opening frame 70-0 with a break of 63, the second at 78-27 with one significant run of 47 before pocketing the third at 77-13 with small breaks of 18, 26 and 32. Not to be disheartened, Mehta stayed alive for the last 16 berth by clinching the fourth frame 73-18 with the help of small breaks ? 34 being the highest.