World number two Neil Robertson established a narrow 5-4 lead over China’s Liang Wenbo in their Betfred World Championship first round clash.
Australia’s Robertson lifted the world title in 2010, but hasn’t reached the one-table semi-final stage since 2014. He’s enjoyed a strong 2019/20 campaign, having sealed ranking titles at the World Grand Prix and the European Masters and won the invitational Champion of Champions.
Liang has lost his last four meetings with 18-time ranking event winner Robertson. However, a superb break of 113 in the final frame of the session will give him hope when they play to a conclusion this evening at 7pm.
Robertson got off to a flying start this morning, firing in a supreme break of 140 in the first frame of the match.
Liang responded by taking the following two frames, to claim a 2-1 advantage. Robertson restored parity heading into the mid-session, with his second century of the day, a run of 122, to make it 2-2.
Further contributions of 87 and 64 saw Robertson open up a 4-2 lead. However, Liang claimed two of the last three frames of the session, to leave things in the balance at 5-4.
On the other table, world number 16 Yan Bingtao stormed to a 7-1 lead over Crucible debutant Elliot Slessor. Chinese 20-year-old Yan composed breaks of 66, 119 and 86, in establishing a dominant lead.