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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 February 2007, 10:54 GMT
Day seeking victory in home event
Ryan Day
Day is up to 12th in the provisional rankings
Pontycymmer's Ryan Day is looking to follow his fine showing in Malta with a win at the Welsh Open at the Newport Centre (12-18 February).

Having never previously been beyond the quarter-finals of a ranking event, the 26-year-old made the Malta Open final, losing 9-4 to Shaun Murphy.

Now the talented Welshman is keen to take that one extra step to glory.

"It was a great week in Malta, I was sad to lose but that'll stand me in good stead for next time," said Day.

"I feel as if I'm still playing well and I would like to build with another good run in the Welsh.

It's always nice for the Welsh boys to get some local support

Matthew Stevens

"I'm up to 12th in the latest rankings, so if I can do well in Newport I can virtually guarantee my top-16 place."

Day is up against Ireland's Michael Judge in his first match, which takes place on Tuesday.

"I've played Michael twice before and beaten him both times," said Day. "But that will count for nothing and I'll have to be focused."

Another Welshman, Carmarthen's Matthew Stevens, will be in action on the same day and looking to recapture the form which gave him the Masters and UK titles as well as five Crucible semi-finals since 2000.

The fans in Newport are excellent and the atmosphere is superb

Reigning champion Stephen Lee

"I'm hitting the ball a lot better and I don't think it will be long before I'm winning tournaments again," said Stevens, 29.

"I haven't got the best record in the Welsh Open, but the Newport Centre is a great venue and it's always nice for the Welsh boys like myself, Mark Williams and Ryan to get some local support. It's a tournament I'd love to win."

Seeking to deny the home favourites will be reigning champion Stephen Lee, who beat Murphy in last year's final.

"It's a great tournament and I was thrilled to win it," said the Wiltshire man. "The fans in Newport are excellent and the atmosphere is superb."

  • Michaela Tabb will become the first female ever to referee a snooker ranking tournament final when she takes charge at the Welsh Open.
  • "It'll be nerve-wracking, but I've worked a long time for this and it will be fantastic to achieve one of my ambitions," said Tabb.

    SEE ALSO
    BBC Sport Wales coverage
    24 Dec 06 |  Wales
    Welsh Open frame scores
    11 Feb 07 |  Snooker
    Murphy cruises to Malta victory
    04 Feb 07 |  Snooker
    Lee eases to Welsh Open victory
    05 Mar 06 |  Snooker
    Welsh Open: Previous winners
    14 Jan 05 |  Snooker


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