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Last Updated: Monday, 1 March, 2004, 15:24 GMT
Davis squeezes past Swail
England's Steve Davis
Davis has been in fine form in 2004
Steve Davis edged out Joe Swail 5-4 to reach the second round of the European Open in Malta.

Davis clinched the win on the pink in the deciding frame after Swail had missed the brown as both players wasted chances to wrap up the match.

The 46-year-old trailed Swail 4-2, but breaks of 51 and 52 brought him back into contention.

"It was nerve-wracking but that's what first-round matches in ranking tournaments are like," said Davis.

He added: "I didn't play great but I managed to speed up and get out of my shell.

"This is an historic day because I've never won a match in this country - I'll have to sample the local beer for the first time!"

It was a win and it's nice to be in the next round but it wasn't a flowing sort of game
Ronnie O'Sullivan
Davis will face world number five Stephen Lee who received a walkover after his opponent, Finland's Robin Hull, withdrew with an ear infection.

Stephen Maguire caused a major surprise as he beat former world champion Peter Ebdon 5-4.

Maguire, the world number 41, scored a decisive 98 break in the last frame to secure his spot in round two.

"I should have won 5-3," he said.

"I had Peter snookered on the last red in the eighth but he managed to fluke it and went on to win the frame. I thought I was going home after that so I was happy with my break in the decider."

Ronnie O'Sullivan also reached the second round with a straightforward 5-1 defeat of Marco Fu.

O'Sullivan, beaten by Fu in last year's World Championship, took control from the start, opening with a break of 110.

"It was a win and it's nice to be in the next round but it wasn't a flowing sort of game," said the defending champion, who now plays Chris Small.

Small, from Scotland, beat Wales' Matthew Stevens 5-0 while Joe Perry beat fellow Englishman David Roe 5-3.

Malta's Tony Drago gave his home fans something to cheer when he defeated England's Adrian Gunnell 5-2.

Australia's rising star Neil Robertson underlined his potential with a 5-3 defeat of the Republic of Ireland's Ken Doherty 3-5.

And in the final match of the day, David Gray defeated Fergal O'Brien 5-3.




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