Big names fall at first hurdle as second round gets underway at World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre
The tournament might still be less than a week old but the Crucible Theatre has already sprinkled its magic on this year’s World Snooker Championship.
World number one and pre-tournament favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan crashed out to amateur James Cahill in the first round and four of the 16 ties went to a deciding frame.
O’Sullivan was 1/50 with the bookies to see off Cahill but the qualifier defied all the odds to knock the five-time champion out with a 10-8 win.
Graeme Dott, who had come through qualifiers to appear at the Crucible, lost out 10-9 against Stuart Bingham.
A lucky blue for Stephen Maguire helped him overcome Tian Pengfei 10-9, while Judd Trump stands as the new bookies’ favourite after grinding out a victory over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh by the same scoreline.
Qualifier Gary Wilson saw off Luca Brecel in the deciding frame of their first-round tie.
Mark Allen was another of the top-16 to have an early exit, losing 10-7 to Zhou Yuelong.
But defending champion Mark Williams beat Martin Gould 10-7 victory over Martin Gould and Barry Hawkins was also in fine form to defeat Li Hang 10-1.
Hawkins will play Kyren Wilson in the last 16 after he saw off Scott Donaldson 10-4 tonight.
James Cahill’s reward for overcoming O’Sullivan is a match against Stephen Maguire.
A four-frame burst from Ali Carter saw Jack Lisowski become the fourth seed to leave the tournament at the first hurdle.
Sign up to our daily newsletter
The i newsletter cut through the noise
Seven-time Crucible finalist John Higgins will take on Stuart Bingham after beating Mark Davis 10-7.And 2005 winner Shaun Murphy carried out a 10-0 whitewash over Luo Honghao.
Murphy faces against Neil Robertson in round two after he beat Michael Georgiou 10-1.
They resume on Friday morning, with Robertson 5-3 ahead.
Mark Selby came back from 5-1 down against Zhao Xintong to win his first round tie 10-7 but he trails Gary Wilson 5-3 in their last 16 tie.
The other ties see Mark Williams take on David Gilbert and Ali Carter up against Zhou Yuelong.
Speaking after his first-round win over Scott Donaldson, Kyren Wilson said he’d been hanging around the Crucible in an attempt to ‘feel part’ of the tournament.
He finished his first-round tie as Mark Selby and Gary Wilson got their second-round tie underway on the other table.
Wilson said: “A banana skin avoided is probably the best way to sum it up.
“I felt really, really good. It’s been difficult for me this time around being the last of the first-round ties.”
Wilson has already won two ranking titles this season, as well as the Six Red World Championship.
And he said ‘anybody could win' the Crucible showpiece this year, adding: “Every player who is in this tournament is more than capable of beating each other. It's more just who turns up on the day.”