Stephen Hendrys MAXIMUM break took as he built up a 7-1 lead over Stuart Bingham took the headlines on Day 1, but fellow scot John Higgins completed his first round match with a nailbiting 10-9 last frame victory over Liang Wenbo. Seven previous champions have fallen at the first hurdle including Hendry, Davis, Griffiths and Dennis Taylor, so at 9-9 Higgins must have been nervous when Wenbo had a chance but missed a double.
Higgins hit the headlines when approached by a New of The World sting in 2010 and agreed to lose frames. The inquiry found him not guilty but banned him for not reporting the 'approach' and bringing the game into disrepute. After his ban he returned to the Crucible and won the World title! Funny old game as they say.
Also on the baize yesterday was 1997 champ Ken Doherty - no relation to that loony tune Pete Doherty - but he was up against in form Aussie Neil Robertson who raced into a 7-2 lead with three centuries in a row. That's like a hat-trick in football - maybe that should get a prize as well as the maxımum?
Robertson wrapped up victory today by 10-4 over Doherty, as did Hendry over Bingham by the same score.
David Gilbert beat Martin Gould by 10-8 in the All English affair.