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Doherty Finds Form Down Under

Ken Doherty defeated Top 8 player Stephen Maguire 5-2 today to reach the second round of the Australian Open in Victoria.

In start contrast to his performance for Republic of Ireland in last week’s World Cup, former world champion Doherty showed signs of his former self as he dominated proceedings from start to finish against his Scottish opponent.

Maguire is dogged by inconsistency himself and it was perhaps the perfect opening round pairing for the Dubliner to encounter.

Furthermore, it is also a help that Ken’s wife, Sarah, is Australian which could spark some inspiration into the world number 28 as he plays in front of his family for the first time.

Events away from the UK have predominantly favoured the Irishman with titles in Malta and Thailand to his name.

Doherty’s next opponent Liang Wenbo is another player intent on rediscovering himself after a poor stretch of results in the last year.

The Chinese 24 year-old overcame Matthew Stevens in a tense deciding frame thriller as he rides the wave of success that began last week when he lifted the World Cup trophy with team-mate Ding Junhui.

Ding, though, did not enjoy a similar experience as he was sent crashing out of the tournament early by Stuart Bingham.

Despite Ding knocking in two century breaks, Bingham deservedly claimed a 5-2 win in a high scoring match that also included a ton from the Englishman.

In the remaining Last 32 clashes, Wuxi Classic champion Mark Selby bounced back from three frames behind to beat Joe Perry 5-3 while world number one Mark Williams defeated Barry Pinches 5-2 in a scrappy contest.

PTC 1 finalist Perry seemed to be in complete control against Selby when he was 3-0 up with a sizeable lead in the fourth frame.

Yet, the ‘Jester from Leicester’ stole it on the black and repeated the favour in the first frame following the mid-session interval  to reduce his arrears to one and visibly shake the confidence out of his opponent.

Meanwhile, qualifier Matthew Selt continued his excellent run with a second successive triumph over a Scottish world champion.

Selt back up his shock 5-4 victory over John Higgins with a 5-1 pasting of Stephen Hendry to reach his maiden ranking event quarter-final.

The 26 year-old from Romford will attempt to make it three world champs out of three when he tackles 2005 winner Shaun Murphy in the Last 8.

The draw for the Australian Open can be viewed by clicking here.



Creator of SnookerHQ and a journalism graduate, David has been actively reporting on snooker since 2011. He has been published in national publications and has appeared on BBC World News and on talkSPORT radio as an analyst.