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Neil Robertson sweeps past Cypriot debutant ­Michael Georgiou in World Championship opener

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 20/04/2019 Freddie Keighley
BEIJING, CHINA - APRIL 07:   Neil Robertson of Australia in action against Jack Lisowski of Great Britain during in the final of 2019 World Snooker China Open at Olympic Sports Centre April 7, 2019 in Beijing, China.(Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images) © Getty Images BEIJING, CHINA - APRIL 07: Neil Robertson of Australia in action against Jack Lisowski of Great Britain during in the final of 2019 World Snooker China Open at Olympic Sports Centre April 7, 2019 in Beijing, China.(Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

Neil Robertson, the world No 4, stormed out of the blocks to start his World Championship campaign in Sheffield, earning a 9-0 lead over ­Michael Georgiou.

An inspired Robertson hit a century break to claim the second frame and only grew more dominant. A break of 96 extended his lead to 4-0 before the mid-session interval, at which point Georgiou had only potted nine balls.

The Australian picked up where he left off to extend his lead to 6-0. A closer seventh frame followed, but again the Australian prevailed and powered on to end the day with a clean sweep, including a break of 132 along the way.

Georgiou is the first Cypriot to feature at the World Championship, but looks almost certain to exit the Crucible after Sunday evening’s session after potting only 35 balls compared to Robertson’s 242 on Saturday.

In the morning session, Mark Williams claimed an early lead in his first-round tie, leading Martin Gould 6-3. The Welshman returned to the Crucible as reigning champion, but it was Gould who claimed the first frame with a break of 64.

However, Williams recovered in dominant fashion and earned a 5-1 ­advantage with the tournament’s first century. The highlight of the 129 break was his unconventional technique to pot the pink with his arm under his body.

Gould responded well to claim the next two frames with breaks of 129 and 97, but Williams took the ninth and ­final frame of the session and was in a strong position going into Sunday’s evening session.

Mark Williams during day one of the 2019 Betfred World Championship at The Crucible, Sheffield. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images) © Getty Images Mark Williams during day one of the 2019 Betfred World Championship at The Crucible, Sheffield. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)

On the other side of the partition, 14th seed Luca Brecel faced Gary Wilson, with the session ending 5-4 to the young Belgian. Brecel produced a magnificent break of 131, which dwarfed Wilson’s highest of 72.

However, the English qualifier’s battling performance means that Brecel holds only a one-frame lead ahead of their second session this afternoon.

Also in action were Ding Junhui and Anthony McGill, with Ding coming out on top with a 6-3 advantage. The highlight of play was a magnificent three-ball plant by world number ten Ding. The third frame was closely contested, with Ding eventually potting the final pink to reclaim the lead.

From there, he increased his advantage to 3-1 before the interval and ­extended that to 6-2 after the pause, hitting a break of 129 on the way. McGill won the final frame of the session.

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