Maguire breezes into last 32 as he edges closer to top form
STEPHEN MAGUIRE admits he couldn’t have asked for a much simpler evening after cruising into the last 32 of the UK Snooker Championship in York last night.
The Glasgow cueman wasted little time in seeing off Jamie Cope 6-0 in their second-round clash, clinching victory at the Barbican Centre in just over two hours.
The simple nature of Maguire’s victory stood in stark contrast to his first-round tie, where he was fortunate to beat Jimmy White 6-5, and the Scot appears to be easing his way into his best form.
A 60 break in the opening frame set the tone and he found himself 4-0 up by the mid-session interval as Cope failed to get going. Things didn’t improve for the Stoke man after the interval as Maguire made back-to-back breaks of 63 and 89 to seal his place in the last 32.
But the 34-year-old, who won the UK Championship back in 2004, claims he was battling against sub-par conditions as well as his opponent.
“I have to say, that was one of the worst tables that I’ve played on and it’s not good for the crowd watching,” said Maguire.
“It’s not good enough for a big tournament like this. It’s unplayable – I was changing my positional shots and I don’t practise every day to do that.
“It was just one of those matches that Jamie didn’t get involved in. I still needed a couple of chances per frame but it was just a nice easy night.
“It was tough for him because I had two flukes in a break and won the opening frame off it. After the second or third frame I could sense he lost interest to be honest with you.”
Next up for Maguire is a tantalising third-round clash with world No.20 Mark Davis, which will take place tomorrow afternoon. Maguire has won eight of the 12 matches between the players, including the last three, and with a victory all but assuring the world No.15 of a place at the prestigious Masters tournament in January, he is aware of the test awaiting him.
“It’s a big match between us because of the Masters situation and I feel like if I can manage to take care of Mark I should be safe for it,” said Maguire.
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