|Betfred World Snooker Championship|
|Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 20 April-6 May|
|Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, Red Button, iPlayer, Connected TV, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.|
Reigning World Champion Mark Williams resisted a stubborn fightback to beat qualifier Martin Gould 10-7 and become the first man into round two.
Williams came out to a fabulous reception on the first morning of action and earned a 6-3 lead.
The Welshman moved 9-4 ahead when play resumed and, although Gould hit back to trail 9-7 with breaks of 70, 87 and 76, Williams edged a nervy 17th frame.
“Overall, I played really well,” the 44-year-old said.
“It was only towards the end that I started to get twitchy when it went 9-7 and I was under pressure.
“It was a tough first-round match. He is probably one of the toughest qualifiers you can have.
“I feel like I am in the tournament now. It was absolutely brilliant walking out [as champion]. The cheers and support was the loudest applause I have ever had walking into any arena.”
Englishman Gould took the opening frame of the day, but last year’s shock Crucible winner claimed the next five, scoring two half-centuries and a stylish 129 on the way.
World number 29 Gould battled back to 5-3, but a 97 gave his 44-year-old opponent the upper hand and what proved to be a telling lead in the best-of-19-frame tie.
Robertson romps towards round two
Earlier, 2010 champion Neil Robertson was in scintillating form as he stormed to a 9-0 lead to turn Michael Georgiou’s World Championship debut into a nightmare.
The world number four, a three-time ranking event winner this season, hit two tons and five breaks of more than 50 to move to within one frame of victory in their first-round tie.
Qualifier Georgiou scored 107 points and could suffer just the second whitewash in Crucible history.
Only Robertson’s fellow Australian Eddie Charlton has been beaten 10-0 at snooker’s showpiece event in Sheffield, losing by that margin to John Parrott in 1992.
Danny Fowler, a part-time binman, holds the unwanted record of the fewest points in a match, managing just 191 in his 10-1 loss to seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry in 1993.
In the other morning match, number 14 seed Luca Brecel battled back from 3-2 down to lead England’s Gary Wilson 5-4 at the end of their first session.
Chinese superstar Ding Junhui, the 2016 runner-up, made a steady start to hold a 6-3 advantage against world number 24 Anthony McGill. The 2016 runner-up compiled breaks of 64, 70, 64, 52 and 129.
McGill’s fellow Scot, number 15 seed Stephen Maguire, trailed 5-4 against Tian Pengfei, another of the six Chinese players appearing at the Crucible this year.
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