RICKY WALDEN went back to work to book his place in the last 64 of the BetVictor Welsh Open on Thursday.

Walden spent the German Masters on holiday in Las Vegas having failed to qualify for Berlin but is now determined to get his head down in the run-in to the World Championship and beat Paul Davison 4-1 to reach the second round in Newport.

“I was dead for about seven days after Vegas but I’m OK now. I missed out on Poland but that probably did me good because I rested up and feel better now,” Walden said.

“If you don’t qualify for something you have to take the positives and make sure you’re refreshed. Coming down to the World Championship at the end of the season, everyone needs to be fresh. The travelling can take a lot out of you. You have to manage it well and get as much rest as you can.”

Walden won a 45 minute second frame to lead Davison 2-0, lost the third but made breaks of 88 and 73 to complete victory.

“I’m pleased to get through,” he said. “It’s always nice to start the tournament with a win. It was a tricky game and I didn’t really play that great but I just need to play my way into the tournament and at least I’m in the next round.

“All the pressure is on you. You’re playing good players with no expectations on them so you’re in a tough spot and you have to be professional and try and scrap through to the next round.”

Peter Ebdon, the 2002 world champion, suffered a 4-0 defeat to China’s Li Hang.


Photographs by Monique Limbos.