Three-time champion Williams beaten in first round

Si Jiahui and Mark Williams
Mark Williams won the World Snooker Championship in 2000, 2003 and 2018 [Getty Images]

Three-time world champion Mark Williams became the sixth seeded player to be eliminated in the 2024 event as he lost 10-9 in a deciding frame against China's Si Jiahui.

Welshman Williams, the 49-year-old fifth seed, led 5-4 in his first-round match against Si after Monday's first session.

However, last year's semi-finalist won four frames in a row to move 8-5 ahead, before Williams pulled two frames back.

Si took the next to go 9-7 in front and had a glorious chance to seal the victory before missing a pink when 39-14 ahead to give Williams hope.

The 2000, 2003 and 2018 champion took it to 9-9, but left a red on into the middle and Si made a match-winning break of 77.

It has been a tournament of shocks and Williams joins top seed Luca Brecel, fifth seed Mark Selby, ninth seed Ali Carter, 10th seed Gary Wilson and 11th seed Zhang Anda in making an early exit.

Si will face another Welsh player in the last 16 when he meets world number 44 Jak Jones, after he defeated China's Zhang on Sunday.

Robert Milkins, the 16th seed, almost became another seed to lose, but recovered from 24-0 down in the deciding frame to scrape through 10-9 against China's Pang Junxu in a match that finished at 23:05 BST.

Milkins had lost the first three frames of the match and was also 9-8 behind but held his nerve to win the last two to set up a meeting with David Gilbert, who beat 2023 champion Luca Brecel on Saturday.

"I can't believe I got through," said Milkins. "I just didn't play great and I was lucky that Pang didn't play well. I had actually played OK, but even when I was 6-5 up I got down on myself.

"I'm like a dodgy horse, he hits the front and doesn't want to get on with it. The last two frames I played OK and when I went 9-8 behind that was the only time I relaxed."

'I'm 50 next year, I can't go on forever'

Mark Williams taking a shot
Mark Williams is part of the so-called 'Class of 92', along with Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins, with the trio winning 14 world titles between them [Getty Images]

Williams wondered if he would play at the Crucible again, although he said he had no plans to retire.

He added: "I'm 50 next year and I was looking around. I've loved every minute. I don't know if I will be back here again. I'm not considering my future but it's a tough game so to keep getting to these venues is hard, you have to treat it as if you're not going to get back.

"Fingers crossed you will see me playing next year but I'm 50 [next year] and can't keep going on forever."

Williams also believes 21-year-old Si could become China's first world champion.

"I didn't play well all the way through the match, but I was playing well at the end," he added. "That's one of the best breaks you will see under pressure and if he can do that more regularly then he is a future world champion.

"He definitely has the potential to win the World Championship. Whether it's this year, who knows, it will be tough."

In response, Si said: "I'm very happy with these compliments so I have to thank him and it means a lot coming from him. I will do my best but I don't think in my level at the moment I could really do it."

Wilson two frames from victory after fine first session

Kyren Wilson playing a shot
Kyren Wilson has reached at least the last 16 of the World Snooker Championship in each of the past eight seasons [PA Media]

Former World Championship runner-up Kyren Wilson was in impressive form as he stormed into an 8-1 first-round lead against Welsh veteran Dominic Dale on Tuesday.

Twelfth seed Wilson produced a superb performance with breaks of 52, 75, 123, 96, 50, 77 and 73 to only need two more frames when the match resumes on Wednesday morning.

Dale, 52, is the oldest player at this year's competition and playing at the Crucible for the first time in 10 years.

He did have one moment to savour though, winning his solitary frame with a superb 120 clearance.

Wilson, a beaten finalist in 2020, will be confident of advancing though with Joe O'Connor, who beat four-time champion Mark Selby, waiting in the last 16.

England's Jack Lisowski, 17th in the world and who only narrowly missed out on automatically qualifying for the tournament, holds a 5-4 advantage following a high-quality session against 2016 finalist Ding Junhui.

The Chinese player took the first two frames with breaks of 127 and 60, before Lisowski responded with efforts of 71 and 91 to draw level.

The high standard continued after the mid-session interval with Ding hitting a break of 98, only for Lisowski to take the next to make it 3-3.

Another excellent break of 90 from Ding gave him a 4-3 advantage, but Lisowski claimed the next two, aided by runs of 69 and 67, to take the session.

Allen takes commanding lead over Robbie Williams

World number three Mark Allen began his campaign in fine style as he holds a 7-2 lead against Robbie Williams, the lowest ranked player in the tournament at 45th.

Allen is aiming to become only the third player from Northern Ireland to win the world title at the Crucible after Alex Higgins in 1982 and Dennis Taylor three years later.

Williams, playing at the venue for the first time in seven years, made breaks of 86 and 105, but runs of 70 and 80 helped Allen take control.

It was expected to be a tight encounter as 2013 finalist Barry Hawkins, 15th in the world, met Welsh world number 18 Ryan Day - and so it proved with Day edging the session 5-4.