Hendry cruises into second round of China Open

March 27th, 2012 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 27 (IANS) Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry edged Martin Gould 5-4 to set up a second-round clash with “the Melbourne Machine” Neil Robertson in the 2012 World Snooker China Open here.

“In the last frame, there were many times I thought that I was going to lose. I even took my cue into two pieces,” Hendry was quoted as saying by Xinhua here Monday.

Hendry cannoned the first century in this edition of 135 clearance to start the match.

Gould geared back a 105 to drag the match into final frame, where Hendry managed a counter-attack of 35 clearance to reverse the losing edge from 25-51.

Earlier, Robertson came from behind to scrape past Jamie Cope of England 5-4.

Robertson, known as the “Melbourne Machine”, showed up with a new-look curly blond barnet instead of his symbolic neat straight haircut.

“I changed my hair for the fans to hopefully bring some luck and to bring more fun to snooker,” the 29-year-old Australian said with a smile.

Facing tough-minded “Shotgun” Cope, Robertson struggled to level four times before the 2010 world champion sealed the error-prone game with a 61-23 victory in the ninth and final frame.

“It was really a tough match. His safe was very great. I couldn’t get many big score opportunities I couldn’t get many fluency of my game. So I must fight very hard for every shot,” said Robertson, who now ranks No. 5 in the world.

With his brother travelling with him this year, Robertson is glad to have time to tour in Beijing.

“I think it’s time for us to learn more culture. I am really happy to win today because that means we can get a couple of days off now so we can get some sightseeing,” said Robertson.

Robertson will next face the winner between “The Great One” Stephen Hendry and Martin Gould in the second round.

“Hendry’s got amazing support from the fans. It’s always a great honour to play against him. Playing professional snooker is always about playing big matches against world best players,” said Robertson.

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