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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April, 2003, 21:35 GMT 22:35 UK
Drago edges Swail
By Clive Jones
BBC Sport at the Crucible

Tony Drago
Drago fought back from a one-frame deficit
Tony Drago fought back in a thrilling first-round battle to claim a 10-8 victory over Joe Swail.

Swail won the first three frames of the evening to turn a 5-4 first-session defecit into a 7-5 advantage.

Drago pinched the 13th on the black before Swail moved into an 8-6 lead when he clinched the 14th frame.

But Drago replied in perfect fashion with a century which started a run of four frames to seal the match and a meeting with champion Peter Ebdon.

I gave away too many frames and I am devastated at losing
Joe Swail

"We both had good runs and bad runs in the match so it was only fair that it was close. Someone had to win and I'm just glad it was me," said Drago.

"I'm looking forward to playing Peter Ebdon in the next round. He's always tough. Even if he turned up on one leg he's be difficult to beat."

Swail said: "I gave away too many frames and I am devastated at losing.

"I'm glad to see the back of this season, but I won't be too hard on myself. This is a beautiful game and I'm lucky to be able to play it for a living."

First round: Joe Swail (NI) 8-10 Tony Drago (Mal)
0-83, 6-76 (76), 28-80 (74), 35-81, 85-0, 46-53 (re-spotted black), 82-32, 97-30 (81) 68-46, 82-41, 66-57 (Drago 57), 77-16 (61), 56-60, 61-8, 0-113 (113), 54-67 (54), 18-61, 33-64




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Tony Drago
"I can beat anyone"


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