The Australian was playing his first match since capturing the UK Championship title earlier this month.
Neil Robertson suffered a shock 4-2 reverse against Robert Milkins to exit the World Grand Prix on Monday’s opening day in Milton Keynes.
The Australian triumphed when the event was last staged towards the end of last season, beating Graeme Dott 10-8 in Cheltenham.
But Robertson wasn’t quite at the races on this occasion at the Marshall Arena, and he couldn’t replicate the kind of form that saw him bag a third UK crown just over a week ago at the same venue.
The foundations for Milkins’ success were laid in the very first frame when he responded to Robertson’s initial knock of 67 with a 70 contribution of his own to pinch it on the black.
A terrific 116 century break sent him two clear, and even though his esteemed opponent replied to briefly restore parity, Milkins compiled a break of 84 before subsequently seeing out the sixth frame to complete a fine display.
While this World Grand Prix is already over for Robertson, another former champion safely made it through to the last 16.
Barry Hawkins, the winner in 2017, scored heavily in a 4-1 ousting of fellow Englishman Ricky Walden.
Scotsmen John Higgins and Anthony McGill also qualified for the next stage with respective 4-2 triumphs over Xiao Guodong and Joe Perry.
The first round continues on Tuesday with another eight encounters set to take place, including world number one Judd Trump’s clash with Michael Holt in the afternoon session.
Trump is the 2/1 favourite to lift the trophy on Sunday, while you can avail of this bet365 bonus code if you fancy backing another player to upset the odds.
Later in the day, world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan will look to bounce back from his recent Scottish Open final defeat when he takes on Ali Carter.
Kyren Wilson, Mark Allen, and Ding Junhui are among the others entering the fray.
The World Grand Prix features only the top 32 earners on the one-year list from this season, and it is the last ranking event of the 2020 calendar year.
The tournament is being broadcast live on ITV4 across Ireland and the United Kingdom, or you can check viewing options for your region by clicking here.
Featured photo credit: WST