GRAEME Dott, last season’s Crucible runner-up, will resume this afternoon with a healthy 6-3 lead over Mark King after the opening session of their first round match.
The Larkhall cueman pocketed breaks of 63, 53, 69, 58, 73 and 102 to leave himself needing to win four of the remaining 11 frames for a place in the last 16 stage.
King was rarely at the races, but the Romford-based professional did compile breaks of 46 and 69 to win the final frame of the session and kept his own hopes of progressing alive.
Hong Kong’s Marco Fu will also return today with a welcome 6-3 lead after he was the better starter against qualifier Martin Gould.
Fu, a former Crucible semi-finalist, eased into a 4-1 lead thanks to breaks of 70, 40, 97, 81 and 63.
Pinner-based potter Gould rallied with runs of 80 and 49, but Hong Kong cueman Fu maintained his three-frame cushion with further runs of 115 and 56 to leave himself favourite to progress.
Qualifiers Ricky Walden and Rory McLeod were left deadlocked at 4-4 after the opening session of their first round match dragged on and had to be pulled off a frame early as it may have delayed the start of Ronnie O’Sullivan’s game with Dominic Dale.
The duo traded blow for blow and there was never more than one frame between them both.