Hong Kong cueist Marco Fu’s disappointing start to the 2016-17 season continued in China yesterday when he was narrowly defeated in the opening round of the Shanghai Masters. The 38-year-old suffered a surprise 5-4 defeat against England’s David Gilbert. Fu has now failed to advance past the opening stage in three of the four ranking events he has played so far this season. He reached the second round at the Indian Open. Gilbert secured victory in a high-quality encounter after winning a tense deciding frame. Fu had raced into a 3-0 lead compiling breaks of 119 and 79 along the way. But let the momentum pass to Gilbert who claimed the final three frames to seal his place in the last 16. Marco Fu begins Shanghai Masters campaign looking to put a slow start to the season behind him “At 3-0 down I was just happy to get a frame on the board, so I’m delighted to come out with a victory,” Gilbert said. “The only time I looked like I was going to win was right at the end, but that’s the exact time you want to look like you’re going to win.” Elsewhere, China’s Ding Junhui came through a tricky tie against Scotland’s Scott Donaldson to advance to round two. The Chinese ace was forced to dig deep against the world No 114 to claim a 5-4 win. Donaldson looked on course to secure the biggest scalp of his career in the deciding frame before missing a simple black which allowed Ding to the table. He ruthlessly cleared from there. Sixteen-year-old Chinese Yuan Sijun claimed the most impressive performance of the day as he whitewashed 17th seed Martin Gould 5-0 with breaks of 111, 65 and 48. He will now meet world number one Mark Selby in round two.