/ Snooker

Neil Robertson makes bright start Down Under

Updated: Monday, 08 Jul 2013 22:39 | Comments

Neil Robertson enters the Australian Open in superb form, having won the Wuxi Classic in China last month
Neil Robertson enters the Australian Open in superb form, having won the Wuxi Classic in China last month

Home favourite Neil Robertson eased into the second round of the Australian Open on day one in Bendigo.

The former world champion lost the first frame against Marcus Campbell but rattled off the next five to ease into the second round on a 5-1 scoreline where he will face Jamie Cope.

Cope had a much tougher time of it in his match with Martin Gould and was on the brink of elimination when he lost the seventh frame.

But breaks of 73 and 96 in the next two gave him a 5-4 win and set up a clash with Robertson.

Defending champion Barry Hawkins was a comfortable 5-1 winner over Dechawat Poomjaeng.

The Thai potter who made such an impression at this year's world championships took the opening frame but that was as good as it got with Hawkins cruising to victory.

He will next face Tom Ford who was a 5-3 winner over Ryan Day.

Stuart Bingham also claimed a 5-1 win over Noppon Saengkham while Andrew Higginson lost by the same scoreline to Zhang Anda.

It is the first time that Zhang has reached the last 16 of a ranking tournament and he will face the winner of the match between Mark Selby and Ian Burns.

"I played pretty well, I was doing well in long pots and scoring," he told www.worldsnooker.com

"I believed that I could win today and I was determined to win.

"I need to improve my safety a lot, especially if I play Mark Selby next. He's a tough opponent and always knows how to win matches."

Ireland’s Ken Doherty and compatriot Fergal O’Brien have yet to open their campaigns at the event.

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