Hendry made to struggle

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Stephen Hendry, the defending UK champion, saw a 4-1 lead wiped out by a player ranked 230 places below him at Preston yesterday.

Hendry, who had to come from 6-4 down to defeat Dominic Dale 9-6 in the first round, was hoping for a more commanding performance against Robert Milkins, a 20-year-old from Gloucester.

Breaks of 74, 82 and 108 appeared to have put the World No 1 well on course for his 14th successive victory in snooker's second most prestigious tournament.

But Milkins, who upset Neal Foulds 9-3 in the first round, showed determination and a fair amount of skill as he battled back to level at 4-4.

James Wattana, was facing an uphill struggle to reach the last 16 against Paul Hunter, an 18-year-old from Leeds. Hunter, who trounced Willie Thorne 9-0 in the first round, leads Wattana 5-3.

Both matches finish today.