Maguire kick starts Welsh Open defence with solid win

Stephen Maguire. Picture by Monique Limbos

Stephen Maguire. Picture by Monique Limbos

DEFENDING champion Stephen Maguire comfortably secured his place in the second round as the Welsh Open got underway.

The Scot, who beat Stuart Bingham in last year’s final, beat Elliot Slessor 4-1 to reach the last 64 stage.

Reigning world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan also eased his way into the second round after he brushed aside amateur Mitchell Travis winning by the same scoreline.

World number 12 Robert Milkins was the first big casualty of the tournament after he crashed to a 4-2 defeat to Scott Donaldson. The defeats add to his surprising early exit in the China Open just three days ago when he lost to Gary Wilson.

Ding Junhui, chasing his fifth major title of the season, secured a place in the last 64 by beating Wilson 4-2 and Ali Carter, who became Welsh Open champion in 2009, defeated Andrew Norman 4-1.

Welshman Matthew Stevens made sure he gave his home fans reason to cheer but was forced to do it the hard way after coming back from 2-0 down to Adam Wicheard to win a seven frame thriller.

The opening day also saw final frame decider wins for Mike Dunn and Ian Burns against Aditya Mehta and Yu Delu respectively.

Wednesday’s Results:

Stephen MAGUIRE 4-1 Elliot SLESSOR
Sam BAIRD 4-2 Robbie WILLIAMS
Gerard GREENE 4-2 Li YAN
Andrew PAGETT 4-0 Marcus CAMPBELL
Scott DONALDSON 4-2 Robert MILKINS
David GILBERT 4-2 Duane JONES
Jimmy ROBERTSON 4-2 Luca BRECEL
Andrew HIGGINSON 4-1 Martin O’DONNELL
Jamie COPE 4-1 Ryan CLARK
Ding JUNHUI 4-2 Gary WILSON
Matthew STEVENS 4-3 Adam WICHEARD
Ian BURNS 4-3 Yu DELU
Mike DUNN 4-3 Aditya MEHTA
Ali CARTER 4-1 Andrew NORMAN
Barry PINCHES 4-1 Nigel BOND
Ronnie O’SULLIVAN 4-1 Mitchell TRAVIS

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