The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Robertson opens bid with impressive first round win over Liang


Neil Robertson continued his red hot form to sweep past first round opponent Liang Wenbo at snooker’s Betfred World Championsh­ip.

The world number three, who claimed a 20th ranking title by winning the recent Tour Championsh­ip, where he defeated Ronnie O’sullivan in the final, stormed to an impressive 10-3 win last night.

The 2010 champion took a 6-3 advantage into the evening session after five breaks over 50 and extended his lead with a 100 break.

The Australian completed his victory with runs of 110 and 73 to seal a second round meeting with Ali Carter or Jack Lisowski.

David Gilbert is relishing the prospect of another epic “blow-out” after breezing into the second round with a 10-4 win over Chris Wakelin.

The former semifinali­st has admitted struggling through the last year on and off the table with the lockdown restrictio­ns playing havoc with his regular postevent routine of a night out with his friends.

But the return of fans and the imminent further easing of restrictio­ns have given Gilbert reasons to be cheerful, as have the three centuries and five further 50-plus breaks which saw him ease past Wakelin.

Gilbert said: “I’m teetotal while I’m in this (tournament), but as soon as I’m out of it or I’ve won it I won’t be, don’t worry about that.” Gilbert resumed 7-2 ahead of his close friend after a glittering first-day display, but Wakelin dug in to reduce the deficit in the first two frames upon the resumption.

But Gilbert finished off with a break of 84 to potentiall­y book a second-round meeting with Judd Trump.

Scotland’s Stephen Maguire bowed out with a 10-4 defeat by Jamie Jones, while four-time champion John Higgins faces a battle to stay in the tournament as he trails China’s world number 53 Tian Pengfei 4-3 after a below-par opening session.

The Scot trailed 4-1 before clawing back the deficit but play was so slow the session was curtailed by two frames.

Successive century breaks from Yan Bingtao helped him ease past Martin Gould. Resuming at 4-4 from Saturday’s opening session, the reigning Masters champion dominated proceeding­s and breaks of 130 and 116 in frames 11 and 12 put him on the road to a 10-6 victory.

Anthony Mcgill made breaks of 119 and 88 to open a slender 5-4 advantage after the first session of his first round match with Ricky Walden.

Ronnie O’sullivan opened the defence of his title with a 10-4 win over Mark Joyce on Saturday but revealed after his first round match that he had been accosted in a “nightmare” incident in a city centre restaurant.

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