Delight for Doherty
Ken Doherty might have gone down under in the world rankings, but his latest trip to Australia is sure to boost his flagging confidence.
Yesterday in Bendigo, a couple of hours drive from Melbourne, the city where he was married, Doherty claimed his most notable scalp for two years to reach the last 16 of the Australian Goldfields Open.
Doherty justified his lengthy journey to the season's opening world ranking tournament by beating No 8 seed Stephen Maguire 5-2.
"I played pretty well and I'm delighted to have beaten such a tough opponent. It's been such a long time since I've had a win over someone of Stephen's standard," said Doherty.
In fact, Doherty, now 28th on the world ranking list, has not overcome anyone of Maguire's stature since a victory over Mark Selby in the Grand Prix two years ago.
The result was also timely given Doherty's hugely disappointing form during last week's World Cup in Thailand, when he and partner Fergal O'Brien failed to guide Ireland past the quarter-finals after a group defeat by minnows Pakistan.
"I've been staying with my wife's family in Melbourne and it's the first time they've seen me play live," said Doherty.
The in-laws had every right to be impressed as the 1997 world champion, assisted by breaks of 64 and 67, established a 3-0 lead in vintage fashion.
Maguire, a former European Open and UK champion, rallied to 3-2 but Doherty had a run of 61 in the sixth frame before preventing his opponent from potting a ball in the seventh.
Today, Doherty takes on Liang Wenbo, who joined Ding Junhui in helping China win the World Cup four days ago.
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