Walden completes maiden Crucible win

Ricky Walden reached the second round of the World Championship for the first time.

Ricky Walden reached the second round of the World Championship for the first time.

RICKY Walden just needed 45 minutes to secure his place in the second round of the World Championship as he completed a convincing win over Michael Holt.

Walden, ranked number 13 in the world, won both of this morning’s two frames after earning a huge 8-1 lead from Saturday morning’s opening session.

In a surprising statistic, Walden’s emphatic 10-1 win was his first victory at the Crucible Theatre after suffering first round exits in 2009 and 2011.

Walden, who won the Wuxi Classic at the start of the season, will face former world champion Neil Robertson or Robert Milkins in the next round which starts next Sunday (April 28).

“I’ve shown that I’m good enough to win tournaments but never done well here before,” Walden said.

“I’ve had a torrid time in the qualifiers and lost some close games. And the two times I’ve been here I lost to (Mark) Selby when he was playing really well and then the match against Rory (McLeod) was a nightmare.

“I got the rub of the green out there against Michael but all in all I feel as though I played the better stuff and I’m pleased with the scoreline. The match went my way early on. Michael let me off in the second frame and I settled down.”

For Nottingham’s Holt it was more disappointment at the venue stage of a major ranking event after losing in the first round for a fifth time this season in the sport’s big events.

And Holt admitted in his post-match press conference that nerves seem to get the better of him.

“It’s more of the same from me, I just don’t play well in the big arenas and that was an extreme example,” he said.

“The amount of venues I get to is a very high percentage and I really look forward to coming to places like this but I just go out there and miss the odd ball.

“I’m not a quitter, I’ve always tried and it’s very rare that I’ve thrown the towel in early. People look for a reason why I haven’t done anything because it’s obvious I can play the game. I just get too nervous out there.”

Meanwhile, the other table saw Graeme Dott take control of his first round match against Peter Ebdon leading 6-2.

The match, which is a repeat of the World Championship final in 2006, resumes to a finish on Monday morning.

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