Maguire sends Brecel packing
Belgian youngster upbeat after 10-5 defeat to world number seven
Last Updated: 23/04/12 1:34pm
Luca Brecel (C): Was defeated in first round by Stephen Maguire (R)
Luca Brecel's first Betfred.com World Championship campaign was ended with a 10-5 defeat to Stephen Maguire in the first round.
Belgian teenager Brecel, who at 17 years and 45 days became the youngest player in the history of the tournament, never truly threatened Scotland's world number seven at the Crucible.
Brecel showed flashes of his huge potential during the opening session on Sunday, in which he made his first century on snooker's most famous stage, but was always fighting a losing battle when he resumed on Monday morning 6-3 down.
He did close the gap with a break of 86 in the opening frame of the final session, but Maguire soon resumed control and runs of 101 and 94 saw him comfortably over the line.
Brecel, who left the arena with a smile on his face, thrilled the crowd at times with some rapid break-building but was made to pay the price for a rash of unforced mistakes.
"I found the crowd really enthusiastic and really enjoyed it. The Crucible was a little bit special, different to everywhere I've played before," Brecel said.
"I know I can play so much better. But I want to be back next year and the future will be a different story."
Brecel will finish the season ranked outside the world's top 64 but it would be a major surprise if he was not given a place on the tour for 2012/13.
He added: "I haven't been told about a wild card for next season. No one has mentioned anything to me about getting one. I'm thinking positively about the future."
Maguire, a semi-finalist in Sheffield back in 2007, will go on to play either Graeme Dott or Joe Perry in the second round of the tournament.
On the other table, Matthew Stevens showed signs of the form which took him to two World Championship finals as he opened up an 8-1 lead over Marco Fu.
The 34-year-old almost recorded a whitewash in the opening session of their first round clash, but Fu finally managed to get on the board in the final frame.