Milkins puts Maguire out of World Open
There was another upset in the first round of the World Open on Wednesday as world number eight Stephen Maguire was eliminated by Robert Milkins 5-3.
Milkins is currently ranked 38th in the world, one place below 54-year-old former world champion Steve Davis, but that did not stop him winning four consecutive frames to overturn his Scottish opponent’s 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval.
In both frames six and seven, Milkins came from behind to win on the colours, and he clinched victory with a frame to spare against the 2007 World Championship semi-finalist.
The Gloucester cueman’s reward is a place in the last 16 against another giant-killer, Jin Long, who defeated Ding Junhui in the previous round.
Defending champion Neil Robertson came through to defeat legend Stephen Hendry 5-3 in a match strewn with errors from both players.
Both players are renowned shot-makers, but two of the first three frames lasted longer than half an hour each as they were filled with missed chances and safety play.
In the second frame, Hendry had five failed attempts at escaping one snooker, contributing enough to Robertson’s score to cover for a multitude of his own sins.
Hendry had eliminated Robertson in the first round of the Welsh Open earlier this month, and he showed flashes of the old player who won seven world titles as he won back-to-back frames after the interval.
However, he could not keep from committing several costly errors which ultimately led to his defeat, and it will be Robertson who faces Stephen Lee in the next round.
"Last week in the Welsh he played very well to beat me so I knew it was going to be a tough match," said Robertson.
"I went 4-1 in front, although I won two frames on the black and that was the difference in the match. It could have gone 4-4 so I'm very relieved to get through.
"The main thing was coming here and not losing in the first round. Hopefully I can improve and go on from here."
"I lost the match in first session as I went 3-1 behind and then 4-1 and that's hard to come back from," Hendry reflected.
"The objective is still to win every match but I've had a very successful career, I've nothing to prove and I just try to enjoy my snooker."
Martin Gould almost completed a heroic comeback against Jamie Cope, only to lose 5-4.
Cope won the first two games of their last 32 tie, but Gould won for in a row either side of the break to go within a frame of a place against John Higgins in the next round.
However, Cope then rallied to win three on the spin and beat the player ranked 12 places above him in the rankings and book a meeting with the reigning world champion.