Joe Perry fell at the first hurdle in the China Open in Beijing and the first round defeat means he now has to qualify for next month’s world championships.
The Chatteris potter, seeded seventh, came unstuck 5-2 against Hossein Vafaei from Iran, who was ranked 53rd.
The shock loss means Perry has now dropped out of the world’s top 16 and will have to win three of his qualifying matches at Ponds Forge, Sheffield, next week to stand a chance of playing at the Crucible. The Betfred World Championships begin on April 15.
Vafaei, a talented cueman from Abadan, got off to a fine start, winning the first two frames with the aid of a 57 break in the first.
Perry burst into life in the next two frames, taking the third with an 86 break and the fourth with an 80 to level it up at 2-2.
But then it all went pear-shaped for the Cambridgeshire man. He barely got a look-in as Vafaei won the last three frames 69-27, 73-6 and 88-0.