Defending champion Judd Trump eased into the quarter-finals of the Australian Goldfields Open in Bendigo with a 5-2 win over Ian Burns.
Trump, who beat Neil Robertson in the final last year, knocked in breaks of 111, 62 and 63 today as he set up a match with Stephen Maguire.
“I was a bit tired today as I didn’t sleep well last night, but that’s no excuse and I still played well,” said world number seven Trump.
It was a good warm up for the next round. I have improved a lot – my bad game is better than it used to be, and I’m scoring heavily at the moment.
Scotland’s Maguire beat Ricky Walden 5-4 on a day of close finishes. Walden made a break of 142 in the sixth frame then a 78 to lead 4-3, but Maguire recovered to 4-4 then won the decider with a top run of 51.
“Neither of us were at our best and that’s often the case when you play a friend,” said Maguire. “I’ve had two good wins and I look forward to playing Judd on Friday. Having played in the World Cup I came here with a lot of match practice so I’m a bit sharper than I have been here in previous years.”
In a first round tie, Ali Carter scored a 5-4 win over World Championship runner-up Shaun Murphy. Carter led 3-1 with a top break of 114 before Murphy compiled runs of 75, 64 and 79 in recovering to 4-4. But Carter’s 62 in the decider proved a match-winner.
“It was a tough game and I’m delighted to get through,” said Carter, who successfully battled cancer last year. “I have been through a lot in the past year and I have had very little match practice. So to come out here and win my first game against top quality opposition is a feather in my cap. Hopefully I can go on and have a good week.”
Londoner Martin Gould was also a 5-4 winner, beating 2013 champion Marco Fu thanks to a break of 76 in the last frame.
“I’m really pleased with how I played,” said Gould. “Everyone here has been hard at work and making sure they are ready for the season as this is always a good tournament to start the season off.”
Welshman Jamie Jones came from 4-2 down to beat Mark Davis 5-4, knocking in breaks of 132 and 63 in the last two frames.
Hossein Vafaei Ayouri made history as the first Iranian player to qualify for the final stages of a ranking event, and he led Michael White 2-0 and 3-2 but eventually lost 5-3.
Captain’s back: Strong start to the season for Ali Carter