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  Sunday, 21 April, 2002, 21:12 GMT 22:12 UK
Stevens douses Dunn fire
Matthew Stevens reached the Embassy World Championship final in 2000
Stevens started his first round match strongly
Matthew Stevens survived a spirited fightback by world number 72 Mike Dunn to successfully overcome his opening hurdle at the Crucible on Sunday.

The Welshman, runner-up to Mark Williams in 2000 and a semi-finalist last year, was made to work hard for victory.

Resuming 7-2 ahead, the 24-year-old took the opening frame of the evening session with a 61 break.

But Englishman Dunn then proceeded to win four of the next five frames to reduce the deficit to 9-6.

Mike did brilliantly and he'll definitely be a top 32 player if he can keep that up
Matthew Stevens

But Stevens kept his composure to take the 16th frame and book a second round meeting with either Jimmy White or Dominic Dale.

"I actually didn't miss that many balls, it was just that Mike went for everything and potted his fair share," Stevens said.

"He had nothing to lose at 7-2 down and admittedly his fightback began to play on my mind a bit.

"I thought Mike did brilliantly and he'll definitely be a top 32 player if he can keep that up."

Stevens, the world number six, had started in superb form on Saturday with two centuries - including the highest break to date of 135 - as he won seven of the first eight frames.

And he believes he is finally hitting his stride after what by his standards has been a patchy season.

If I play well I have a great chance
Matthew Stevens

"I've put a lot of work in," he said. "I haven't had the best of times but I got to a couple of semis recently so the confidence is there.

"It's first to 13 next so if I play well I have a great chance."

Stevens even had time to watch Stuart Bingham narrowly miss out on a maximum 147 on the adjoining table.

"I'm gutted for him. He was just two inches away from a maximum.

"It's a shame because he gets maximums all the time in practice."


M Stevens (Wal) 10-6 M Dunn (Eng) 66-51, 109-0 (105), 14-83 (83), 97-13 (61), 90-42 (90), 135-0 (135), 81-16, 74-7 (54), 0-87 (58), 86-28 (61), 23-59, 4-77 (62), 69-37, 27-88 (54), 73-11

Wales' Matthew Stevens
"I'm pleased to get that match out of the way"
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