O'Sullivan dominates session; Wilson & Allen advance

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan is the current world number one [Getty Images]

Ronnie O'Sullivan made a fine start to his bid to win a record-breaking eighth world title as he dominated the first session against Welsh qualifier Jackson Page.

O'Sullivan, 48, is looking to move clear of Stephen Hendry's seven Crucible successes and holds an emphatic 8-1 lead over 22-year-old Page, the world number 43.

Breaks of 54, 56, 81, 122, 66 and 53 left O'Sullivan needing to win only two frames when the match resumes on Thursday afternoon.

Page, who reached the last 16 in his other Crucible appearance in 2022, made a break of 142 - the joint highest in the tournament so far.

However, the rest of the session was difficult for him as he only scored 27 or fewer points in seven of the nine frames.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Kyren Wilson and Mark Allen, against Dominic Dale and Robbie Williams respectively.

England's Jack Lisowski defeated China's 2016 finalist Ding Junhui, winning 10-9 in a high-quality encounter to set up a second-round match against 2015 world champion Stuart Bingham.

Seventh seed Ding became the seventh seeded player to be knocked out inside the opening five days after earlier defeats for 2023 world champion Luca Brecel, Mark Selby, Mark Williams, Ali Carter, Gary Wilson and Zhang Anda.

Wilson misses out on making 147 in front of family

Kyren Wilson playing a shot
Kyren Wilson lost 18-8 to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the 2020 World Championship final [PA Media]

Wilson, the 2020 runner-up completed a 10-1 first-round thrashing of Wales' Dominic Dale but missed out on making his second maximum 147 break at the Crucible.

In the final frame, Wilson potted 11 reds and 11 blacks as he aimed to make only the 15th maximum at the Sheffield venue since it started hosting the tournament in 1977, but then missed a red as his break ended at 88.

If he made a 147, it would have been his second in successive years at the Crucible after he made one in a 10-5 first-round win over Ryan Day in 2023.

There is a prize pot of £40,000 for a 147 at this year's main draw event, with the money to be shared if more than one player makes a maximum.

That is on top of a share of £15,000 for the highest break in the whole tournament, with that money currently destined for Thailand's Noppon Saengkham, who made a 147 in his third qualifying round win over Andy Hicks.

Speaking about the maximum chance on BBC Two, Wilson, the 12th seed, said: "It's no disrespect to Dom, but it's not often you find yourself in that position where you can just have a free shot at it.

"My family - my wife and my kids - came up for this session so I thought it might be nice. They watched my last 147 at school in this tournament last year so I thought it might be nice to try to do one for them live.

"Last year I was in position until the very end with the last two reds - but this one, I was constantly fighting, and every time a ball went in the crowd got more and more excited which then got the adrenaline going, and I felt more under pressure to try to do it for the kids live."

Wilson, who faces Selby's conqueror Joe O'Connor next, said he stood a good chance of becoming world champion if he could maintain this form.

He said: "If I play like that it will take some performance in any round for any player to stop me."

Kyren Wilson reacts after missing a 147 chance
Kyren Wilson reacts after missing a chance to move towards a 147. He was one of two players, along with Mark Selby, to make one in the 2023 World Championship. [Getty Images]

Lisowski proud of 'one of my best wins'

Lisowski, ranked 17th in the world, narrowly missed out on automatically qualifying and had to play two matches to get to the Crucible.

He told BBC Two: "I always thought it was going to be a really close game, everyone was saying it would be. My game is in really good shape and when you're confident in your cueing you've always got a chance.

"I just wanted a chance in the last frame and everything went in the middle of the pocket. It's probably one of my best wins ever."

Allen, third in the rankings, is aiming to become only the third player from Northern Ireland to win the world championship after Alex Higgins and Dennis Taylor, and held a 7-2 lead after the first session.

Robbie Williams won four of the first six frames, but Allen sealed the win with a clearance of 114.

"Job done," said Allen. "It could've been better, but it could've been a lot worse too. I'm confident in the fact I'm winning a lot of matches, but not as confident as I would like to be when it comes to my form."

Higgins will 'evaluate' snooker future after tournament

John Higgins holding the World Championship trophy
John Higgins won the world title in 1998, 2007, 2009 and 2011 [Getty Images]

In Wednesday's evening session, John Higgins plays Wales' Jamie Jones, a player who defeated 2010 world champion Neil Robertson in the final qualifying round.

The 48-year-old Scot plans to "evaluate" his future in the sport after the tournament.

Higgins said: "I've had a great career here, won it numerous times, and I'm just going to give it my all for this season and see what happens.

"I still love the game and walking into a venue like this gets the juices flowing. But it's not all snooker; you have other things happening in your life with your family and this is only a small part of my life."