Stephen Maguire falls at first hurdle in Masters

Stephen Maguire studies the table during his match against Judd Trump yesterday. Picture: Getty
Stephen Maguire studies the table during his match against Judd Trump yesterday. Picture: Getty
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Stephen Maguire admits it may be time to go back to the drawing board after his poor form this season continued and resulting in him crashing out of the Masters at the first hurdle yesterday afternoon.

The Glaswegian cueman reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open back in July but has made only one quarter-final since.

His latest loss came against world No 5 Judd Trump at London’s Alexandra Palace as the Scot went down 6-4.

Trump raced into a 4-1 lead, pinching two of those frames on the black, and although Maguire fought back to level proceedings at 4-4, the Englishman made breaks of 60 and 49 to get over the line.

The 34-year-old was left fuming at the amount of luck he felt his opponent enjoyed on the day.

“It was won and lost in the first four frames. How he was 3-1 up at the interval I will never know,” said Maguire. “I came back at him from 4-1 down but the damage was done.

“He was very lucky to be 3-1 up. I don’t think Judd sees a lot of the luck he gets. I wish I had half of it.

“I don’t think I will quickly forget about that one. It is a tough one to take. Time will tell about leaving scars, but I thought I was playing okay and usually when I feel like that I win. Maybe it is back to the drawing board.”

While Maguire’s world ranking of 16 at the cut-off point was enough to see him qualify for a 12th consecutive Masters, he has since dropped to 17th in 
the world.

Last season, the four-time Masters semi-finalist made a late surge up the rankings to ensure an automatic place at the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield by the skin 
of his teeth.

He will need to get back into the top 16 in order to do the same again this year but claims he is fed up with constantly having to worry about his ranking.

“There are plenty of tournaments coming up, but I am borderline for the top 16 – 17 right now. I am floating about there, so will have to knuckle down,” added Maguire.

“I got in the Crucible automatically by the skin of my teeth last season and I don’t want to be going through that every year. It is a big difference 16 or 17, three matches for the Crucible.

“I don’t want to be one of these guys forever floating around the 16 mark, so I will have to look at a few things.”

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