Hicks proves Roe's master

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Andy Hicks was in devastating form as he recorded a hat-trick of century breaks to knock out David Roe 5-2 in the first round of the Benson and Hedges Masters at Wembley yesterday.

It was the Tavistock left-hander's first appearance at Wembley but he disguised his nerves well to set up a clash with Thailand's James Wattana today for a place in the quarter-finals.

"It seems as though I relish playing on the big occasion," said Hicks, who secured a sponsor's invitation to the event after reaching the semi-finals of both the World and UK Championships last year.

"I felt brilliant from the moment I walked out there. There's no doubt I tend to raise my game when the conditions and atmosphere are good."

Hicks is the second player to compile three centuries in a best-of-nine- frames match at the event, following the achievement of Stephen Hendry in a second-round match against Ken Doherty in 1993.

Hicks did not have the ideal preparation for his first appearance at the Masters, having suffered a defeat against the unheralded Tony Chappel in the first round of last week's Regal Welsh Open.

A 67 break won Hicks the first frame and although Roe then took blue, pink and black to level at 1-1, he found himself trailing 3-1 at the mid- session interval. Hicks finished in style by putting together breaks of 125 and 103.