Judd Trump made an emphatic start to his quest for a second world snooker title as he established a 7-2 overnight lead over Liam Highfield at the Crucible.
Trump, the dominant force on this season’s tour with five titles already to his name, kicked off with a break of 116 and seldom looked back as qualifier Highfield struggled to stay in touch.
Questions had been raised about Trump’s tag as title favourite after uncharacteristic early defeats in the Players’ Championship and Tour Championship respectively.
And while he did summon a series of errors, including missing a black off its spot, his opponent could not capitalise and Trump sailed into a 3-0 lead.
Highfield did eventually get on the board but Trump restored his three-frame advantage with a break of 75 then overturned a deficit of 50 points in the next to go 5-1 up.
Highfield, who made his only previous appearance at the Crucible in 2018, responded with a gutsy 77 but Trump finished the session in style, including a knock of 86, ahead of Tuesday’s conclusion.
Jack Lisowski battled back from 8-6 behind to edge out former finalist Ali Carter in the first final-frame decider of this year’s tournament.
Two half-centuries hauled Lisowski level and after Carter moved one frame from victory, Lisowski rallied with a clearance of 82, then a 60 in the decider to book a last-16 clash with Neil Robertson.
Lisowski said: “It was a big win there. I managed to hang on with a few frames, and at 8-6 it was not looking good for me, so to have won from there it was good stuff.
“In the tournament he was probably the worst draw out of everyone, but my attitude was ‘it is the World Championship, it doesn’t matter who you got because you have got to beat them all’.”
On the other table, world number 13 Mark Allen took a commanding 7-2 lead over China’s Lyu Haotian, producing three centuries during the morning session.