Welsh Open 2012 – Day 1 Report

SIX TIMES world snooker champion Steve Davis produced the result of the opening day of the 2012 Welsh Open with a stunning win over Ali Carter.

The 54-year-old, who beat Ricky Walden on Saturday (February 11) to qualify for the Newport ranking event, hit two century breaks in a thrilling 4-3 win over the world-ranked number 7.

Trailing 2-1 in the race to four frames, Davis hit a break of 121 to level the match before going on to take a 3-2 lead. Carter then responded winning a scrappy frame to force the match into a deciding frame.

But Davis did not let the nerves get the better of him and a stylish break of 117 sealed his place in the last 16 stage.

Davis will play Masters finalist Shaun Murphy who came back from 2-0 down to beat Mark Joyce to seal his place in the second round.

UK Championship winner Judd Trump had no problem winning his last 32 tie. He beat Fergal O’Brien 4-0 with a top break of 104.

Defending Welsh Open champion John Higgins beat Liang Wenbo 4-1 despite not playing his best snooker. The Scot will meet Ding Junhui who, like Trump, recorded a whitewash beating Mark Davis 4-0. The result ended Davis’ hopes of an automatic place in April’s World Snooker Championship and will have to win a qualifier to secure a place into the Crucible.

Leicester’s Tom Ford will have a smile on his face tonight as he produced a fine win over former world champion Grame Dott to make it through to the last 16. Ford beat Dott 4-2 and gained revenge after the Scot beat him in the World Snooker Shoot-Out semi-final more than a fortnight ago.

There was also a couple of last 48 ties to allow the seeded Welshmen Ryan Day and Dominic Dale to play in front of their home crowd at the Newport Centre. But it proved to be a bad day for both of them – Day losing 4-0 to Nottingham’s Michael Holt and Dale losing 4-2 to Sam Baird.

This is the first time Baird has made it through to the last 32 of a world tour ranking event.

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