World Championship 2019: Champion Mark Williams into second round with 10-7 win v Martin Gould

By Owen PhillipsBBC Sport at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Betfred World Snooker Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 20 April-6 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, Red Button, iPlayer, Connected TV, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Reigning world champion Mark Williams resisted a stubborn fightback to beat qualifier Martin Gould 10-7 and become the first man into round two.

Williams received a fabulous reception on the first morning of the World Championship and earned a 6-3 lead.

The Welshman moved 9-4 ahead when play resumed and, although Gould hit back to trail 9-7 with breaks of 70, 87 and 76, Williams edged a nervy 17th frame.

"Overall, I played really well," the 44-year-old said.

"It was only towards the end that I started to get twitchy when it went 9-7 and I was under pressure.

"It was a tough first-round match. He is probably one of the toughest qualifiers you can have.

"I feel like I am in the tournament now. It was absolutely brilliant walking out [as champion]. The cheers and support was the loudest applause I have ever had walking into any arena."

Englishman Gould took the opening frame of the day, but last year's shock Crucible winner claimed the next five, scoring two half-centuries and a stylish 129 on the way.

World number 29 Gould battled back to 5-3, but a 97 gave his 44-year-old opponent the upper hand and what proved to be a telling lead in the best-of-19-frame tie.

Robertson romps towards round two

Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson has won three ranking events so far this season

Earlier, 2010 champion Neil Robertson was in scintillating form as he stormed to a 9-0 lead to turn Michael Georgiou's World Championship debut into a nightmare.

The world number four, a three-time ranking event winner this season, hit two tons and five breaks of more than 50 to move to within one frame of victory in their first-round tie.

Qualifier Georgiou scored 107 points and could suffer just the second whitewash in Crucible history.

Only Robertson's fellow Australian Eddie Charlton has been beaten 10-0 at snooker's showpiece event in Sheffield, losing by that margin to John Parrott in 1992.

Danny Fowler, a part-time binman, holds the unwanted record of the fewest points in a match, managing just 191 in his 10-1 loss to seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry in 1993.

In the other morning match, number 14 seed Luca Brecel battled back from 3-2 down to lead England's Gary Wilson 5-4 at the end of their first session.

Chinese superstar Ding Junhui, the 2016 runner-up, made a steady start to hold a 6-3 advantage against world number 24 Anthony McGill. The 2016 runner-up compiled breaks of 64, 70, 64, 52 and 129.

McGill's fellow Scot, number 15 seed Stephen Maguire, trailed 5-4 against Tian Pengfei, another of the six Chinese players appearing at the Crucible this year.

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