seeds round one
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Seeds Dominating at Halfway Stage of Round One

Only one qualifier has made it through to the last 16 so far.

Eight matches in round one of the World Snooker Championship have been completed, and so far it has been a case of the seeds dominating in Sheffield.

Ronnie O’Sullivan got the ball rolling on Saturday when the defending champion launched the 2021 edition with a 10-4 victory against Mark Joyce.

Six other seeds from round one have since joined the Rocket in the last 16, including former champions Neil Robertson and John Higgins.

Robertson looked sharp, continuing on from his recent tournament-winning form at the Tour Championship, in easily dismantling the challenge of Liang Wenbo.

Higgins, by contrast, took an age to dispel his early-event nerves, finally fighting back from 7-4 behind to deny Tian Pengfei on Monday night.

Last year’s runner-up Kyren Wilson also advanced with a comeback win, retrieving a 5-1 deficit to namesake Gary Wilson in an eventual 10-8 success.

Masters champion Yan Bingtao, in addition to former World Championship semi-finalists David Gilbert and Anthony McGill, were the other seeds to make it beyond round one.

Indeed, the only exception up to now has been Jamie Jones, with the Welshman surging to a one-sided 10-4 victory against perennial first-round loser, Stephen Maguire.


There are still eight more matches to be completed in the last 32 this year, so it will be intriguing to see if there are any further upsets or if the trend continues.

The last time fewer than four qualifiers made it through to the second round was in 2015, when three prevailed, and you have to go back to 2009 when just two of the seeds failed at the opening hurdle.

Pundits often claim that the qualifiers have an advantage of sorts, having gained match sharpness from the preliminaries, but that doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference so far.

Two of the most feared qualifiers in the draw will seek to change that on Tuesday, however, with Ali Carter up against Jack Lisowski and former world champion Stuart Bingham in action against Ding Junhui. Both players trail 5-4 heading into their respective second sessions.

World number one and pre-tournament favourite Judd Trump also gets his World Championship campaign under way on Tuesday afternoon against Liam Highfield.

Live coverage continues on the BBC and Eurosport.

Featured photo credit: WST

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