Maguire to take a break following Welsh Open exit

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Sportsbeat
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Stephen Maguire was beaten 6-1 by Jordan Brown in the Welsh Open semi-finals
Stephen Maguire was beaten 6-1 by Jordan Brown in the Welsh Open semi-finals

STEPHEN Maguire admits he needs a break from snooker following his Welsh Open exit at the semi-final stage, writes Paul Martin.

The Glaswegian was thumped 6-1 by Jordan Brown in the last four at Celtic Manor to become the latest high-profile scalp in the world No.81’s inspired run.

A break of 135 from the Antrim potter set the tone and though Maguire snatched the second frame, a nerveless Brown pulled clear either side of the mid-session interval to secure a place in his first ever ranking final.

The result ended Maguire’s hopes of reaching next week’s Players Championship and the Scot is switching his focus to the Crucible.

“I’m going to withdraw from the Gibraltar Open and take a break to gear up for the World Championships in April,” he said.

“I need some time off to regroup. I want to get in tip-top shape for the best-of-19s.

“A semi-final here is good for me and I wasn’t expecting it. It’s just a pity I never showed up in that match.

“Jordan deserved it and all the plaudits should go to him.

“I hope he wins it. If he plays like that, he’s got a chance.”

Brown’s break in the opening frame was the highlight of a display which also featured visits of 52, 56, 113 and 59.

The Maverick, on the other hand, could only manage a highest break of 33 and was punished for his mistakes in ruthless fashion.

“He was far too good out there and put me under pressure from the very first frame,” Maguire said.

“I left him a long red and I wanted him to go for it as the reds were everywhere – but I wasn’t expecting that start. He came out buzzing – fair play to him.”

Brown will play Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final after the Rocket thumped Mark Williams 6-1 in the last four.

O’Sullivan is looking for his first silverware since last year’s World Championships and victory would see him draw level with John Higgins on a record-equalling five Welsh Open titles

Watch the Welsh Open live on Eurosport, Eurosport app and stream on discovery+