• China Open

Maguire magic hurts Holt

ESPN staff
March 25, 2013
Stephen Maguire hit form after the mid-session interval in his victory over Michael Holt © PA Photos

Stephen Maguire avoided a first-round exit at the China Open by winning four frames in a row to defeat Michael Holt 5-3.

The Scot was in trouble when he trailed Holt 3-1 at the mid-session interval, but blasted his way past the Hitman as he managed to dodge losing in his opening match of the penultimate ranking event of the campaign.

Before his success over Premier League champion Stuart Bingham at the Welsh Open in February, Maguire had failed to go beyond the second round of any of this season's ranking tournaments.

And it was evident why he had struggled in the opening rounds early on as Holt seized the initiative, racing into a 2-0 lead by thumping in a 105 along the way.

Maguire halved the deficit with a century of his own as his 133 made it 2-1, but Holt then went 3-1 in front and was in a commanding position, leaving Maguire in trouble.

The world No. 7 showed his experience and put behind him the frustrations to then notch up four consecutive frames by rattling in a 63 and a 66 to get the job done and complete the comeback, closing out the victory by firing in a 62.

Former world champion Graeme Dott fought back from 2-0 down to get the better of Marco Fu 5-3.

Fu delighted the Asian crowd by opening up a two-frame advantage, knocking in a top break of 54.

However, 2007 winner Dott dug deep and battled hard to turn the match in his favour, clinching four frames on the spin with a high break of 76.

German Masters runner-up Fu needed two bites of the cherry with runs of 54 and 66 to take the seventh frame, but could not force a deciding frame as Dott held his nerve to cross the finishing line.

"Marco played well at the start of the match and before I knew it I was 2-0 down," Dott told worldsnooker.com. "After I won the third frame I played pretty well. I hate losing so I never give up."

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