Barry Hawkins beats Dechawat Poomjaeng at Australian Open

Barry Hawkins

Defending champion Barry Hawkins eased into the second round of the Australian Open on the opening day in Bendigo.

The World Championship runner-up beat Thailand's Dechawat Poomjaeng 5-1 after losing the opening frame.

England's Hawkins, 34, will face compatriot Tom Ford, 29, in the second round after he beat Ryan Day 5-3.

Home favourite and former world champion Neil Robertson also progressed after beating Scot Marcus Campbell 5-1 and will meet England's Jamie Cope.

Robertson lost the first frame but wonthe next five to secure his place in the second round.

Cope had a much tougher time of it in his match with Martin Gould and was on the brink of elimination when he lost the seventh frame.

But breaks of 73 and 96 in the next two gave him a 5-4 win and set up a clash with Robertson.

Stuart Bingham was a 5-1 winner over Thailand's Noppon Saengkham, while fellow Englishman Andrew Higginson lost by the same scoreline to China's Zhang Anda.

Zhang is into the last 16 of a ranking tournament for the first time and will face either Mark Selby and Ian Burns.

"I played pretty well, I was doing well in long pots and scoring," he told World Snooker's website.

"I believed that I could win and I was determined to win."

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