The first round of the 2019 English Open concluded on Tuesday with Neil Robertson among those advancing to the last 64 in Crawley.
The Australian was at his free-scoring best as he compiled breaks of 118, 85, 75, and 71 to easily thump Kishan Hirani in a whitewash display.
It’s been an eventful season so far for Robertson, missing both the defence of his Riga Masters crown and the World Open qualifiers due to travelling mishaps.
The 37 year-old was also forced to withdraw ill from the China Championship, but there were some positives last week when he emerged victorious from Group 1 in the Championship League.
Despite his turbulent term, Robertson will undoubtedly be one of the big favourites this week at the K2.
Other high-profile names to progress to the second round were Mark Williams, Mark Allen, and Kyren Wilson.
The latter overcame 2016 champion Liang Wenbo while the two Marks recorded respective 4-2 triumphs against Jamie Clarke and James Wattana.
Williams’ superb 142 in the last frame of his defeat of his countryman stands as the highest break of the tournament so far.
Having reached the final and semi-finals in Guangzhou and Bangkok last month, surely @markwil147 has been practising? 🤔
— World Snooker (@WorldSnooker) October 15, 2019
David Gilbert and Gary Wilson, two World Championship semi-finalists from May, eased beyond the opening hurdle while there were wins for Jack Lisowski, Ryan Day, and Graeme Dott as well.
Arguably the most dramatic contest of the 2019 English Open so far materialised in the affair between Zhao Xintong and Scott Donaldson.
After the first six frames were shared, a tense final frame concluded with the requirement of a re-spotted black that the Chinese youngster potted to squeak through to the next stage.
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, by contrast, raced through his fixture with Stephen Maguire in what was billed by many as the tie of the round.
It didn’t live up to expectations in terms of drama but the Thai produced a clinical performance with breaks of 117, 86, 75, and 65 earning him a 4-0 triumph.
Former ranking event winners Marco Fu, Ricky Walden, Fergal O’Brien, and Matthew Selt similarly enjoyed whitewash successes.
On what was another hectic day of action, Hossein Vafaei prolonged his recent run of good form with a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Simon Lichtenberg.
Among some of the others to stay in the tournament were teenager Yuan Sijun, former Shoot Out champion Michael Georgiou, and tour rookie Louis Heathcote.