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No early surprises as defending champion Murphy progresses in Telford

December 6, 2009

Sean Murphy began the defence of his UK Open title today with a 9-5 first-round win over Northern Ireland’s Gerard Greene.

Murphy, who also picked up the Premier League trophy last weekend, is attempting to become only the third player to successfully defend the UK crown and began with a solid performance to see off the world  number 32.

Shaun Murphy beat Gerard Greene today to seal his place in the second round

Murphy’s win was one of eight first-round matches that were played at the Telford International Centre today.

1999 and 2002 champion Mark Williams is also through after beating Graeme Dott, who was unable to live up to his “Pot the Lot” nickname as he withdrew, feeling ill when trailing 6-2.

Stephen Maguire, winner in 2004 and finalist two years ago, saw off the challenge of Michael Holt 9-6, and Mark King beat Anthony Hamilton 9-2.

The tournament is being televised live and online by the BBC, and finishes next Sunday.

Four first-round clashes are yet to be finished. Liang Wenbo leads Ryan Day 6-2;  Grand Prix champion Neil Robertson is 5-3 up against Tom Ford; Stuart Bingham is 6-2 ahead against Joe Perry; and the match between Mark Selby and Jamie Cope is finely poised at 4-4.

Those matches will be played to a finish at 3pm on Sunday, while four new matches, featuring legends of the game Stephen Hendry, Peter Ebdon, Steve Davis and John Higgins, begin at 1.

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