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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 March, 2004, 22:41 GMT
Williams falls at the first
White trailed 3-2 to Wattana
White went through with breaks of 38 and 36 in the deciding frame
Mark Williams has been knocked out of the European Open, falling 5-1 to Anthony Hamilton at the first hurdle.

The world number one then refused to answer any questions at a post-match press conference.

Jimmy White edged his way into the second round with a 5-4 defeat of James Wattana, having trailed 3-2.

The Englishman won the deciding frame to set up a last-16 match against old foe Stephen Hendry after the Scot beat Jimmy Michie 5-1 in Malta.

After his defeat to Hamilton, Williams said: "I'm not saying anything because if I do I could be in trouble so I'm keeping my mouth shut."

The WPBSA has warned players that they face action if they make critical statements to the media.

"I got used to the table and Mark never did," Hamilton said. "He struggled badly and it was nice to play a member of the top four who wasn't on top form."

Hendry was far from his best against Michie, recording a highest break of just 55.

"I feel like going to apologise to each fan one by one because it was such a bad match," said the world number two.

Paul Hunter also failed to hit top form against Brian Morgan but still breezed to a 5-1 win over his fellow Englishman.

I had a load of chances and didn't take them, which is disappointing
Barry Pinches

Hunter could only muster breaks of 37, 35, 43, 49 and 39 as he booked his place in the last 16.

John Higgins reached round two with a comprehensive 5-0 win over Barry Pinches.

The fourth seed never looked back after opening up with a 68 break and completed the rout with a 132.

"Barry didn't play at all and that made it much easier," said Higgins.

Pinches, who takes on Tony Drago in the final qualifying round of the world championship later this month, admitted he was not on top of his game.

"John had good breaks in the first and last frames but I had a load of chances in the others and didn't take them, which is disappointing," he said.

Drago won the final game of the day, edging out Scotland's Alan McManus 5-4.




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