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Page last updated at 20:47 GMT, Saturday, 3 October 2009 21:47 UK

Higgins eases past rookie Joyce

John Higgins

Video - Higgins off the mark with 99 (UK users only)

John Higgins wasted little in time in reaching the last 16 of the Grand Prix, beating Mark Joyce 5-1 on the opening day in Glasgow.

Qualifier Joyce, through to the last 32 of a ranking event for the first time, watched as Higgins raced 3-0 ahead.

Walsall-based Joyce pulled a frame back but Higgins replied emphatically with breaks of 135 and 99 to clinch the win.

Hong Kong's world number eight Marco Fu fell short against world number 47 Mark Davis, losing 5-4.

Fu, the 2007 Grand Prix winner, quickly fell 2-0 behind to his 37-year-old opponent from Sussex before storming back to lead 3-2.

But Davis regrouped and hit back to win the next two. Fu forced a decider, but Davis edged it in a frame lasting 31 minutes.

Higgins, 34, admitted to having some pre-match nerves on home territory before facing world number 57 Joyce.

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"I was feeling a little bit of pressure coming in as defending champion. I had a lot of people coming to support me, and I wanted to get off to a good start," he said.

"But I feel really good, I feel everything's there in front of me. I know what I'm doing, there's nothing in the back of my head concerning technique, so it's good to be feeling like that."

Davis, who beat namesake Steve to qualify for Glasgow, admitted he feared the worse when Fu fought back from 2-0 down.

"To be 2-2 was devasting really," he said. "It was better after the interval but I'm pleased to get over the line. I was glad to knock those last few balls in but the yellow was difficult.

"It was game ball, if I missed it it could have been game over but if I played it nicely I'd be on the green. Early on in the last frame I had a couple of bashes and got lucky."

In the evening session, England's Joe Perry beat Marcus Campbell of Scotland 5-2, before Ireland's Ken Doherty saw off Englishman Mark Selby 5-3 in the remaining match.

Mark Davis

Video - Davis comes through safety battle (UK users only)



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see also
Baby boy frees Carter for Glasgow
02 Oct 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan questions Higgins haul
30 Sep 09 |  Snooker
Rookie Joyce faces Higgins test
25 Sep 09 |  Snooker


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