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Tortuous

In the battle of the snooker oldies, Stephen Hendry beat Steve Davis in unconvincing style in the first round of the UK Championship, winning 9-6 in a match he described as being like ‘torture’. The pair were tied at 6-6 after Davis showed that the old(er) dog still had a few tricks, but breaks of 37, 40, 41 and 112 put the Scot into the second round.

‘I won, it's as simple as that. Snooker is torture at the moment,’ said the seven-time world champ. ‘It's very frustrating. In the last frame I potted a long red and made a good break – that's what you're supposed to do, do it in one visit. It was a great atmosphere, it shows we are still popular, which is nice.’

‘I was competitive, I felt like a player. I got a couple of kicks at bad times which didn't help,’ said Davis, who on Friday was co-opted onto the board of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. ‘At times he looked vulnerable, but he did make three centuries, he's still a fantastic positional player among the balls.

‘It wasn't the greatest match, but at 6-6 I had a chance. He played some good frames and some ropey ones, it was a strange match.’

Elsewhere Ryan Day, who was soundly thrashed 9-3 by Chinese star Liang, missed out on an opportunity to grab himself a £30,000 bonus for a maximum 147 break when he missed the brown at 125.

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