The Northern Irishman came from behind to advance to the next round.
Mark Allen won the battle of the exes against Reanne Evans after a dramatic and tension-filled first-round encounter at the British Open ended 3-2.
There had been significant build-up to the contest between the former partners, who have a teenage daughter from their previous relationship with one another.
Publicly known that the duo don’t see eye to eye over a number of personal matters, the animosity was ramped up even further when Evans refused to acknowledge Allen’s offering of a fist bump at the outset of the match.
Amid a sometimes raucous atmosphere inside the Morningside Arena as fans were welcomed back, Allen won the first frame only to subsequently fall 2-1 behind.
The recent Championship League runner-up appeared set for an early exit when Evans needed just one more red in the fourth frame, but the 12-time women’s world champion failed to find good position.
Allen cleared to snatch the frame by a single point and force a decider before duly winning the fifth with a break of 68 to move forward into the last 64 in Leicester.
“It was awful, not one I want to do again,” Allen told ITV following the conclusion of the fiery affair against Evans.
“She played much better than me, but I hung in there and made a good clearance and a good break to win it. I just wanted to try and play snooker – I got a chance in the last frame of a snooker match, and that’s all it was to me.”
Elsewhere on day one in the British Open, John Higgins compiled a magnificent 147 break in the opening frame of his 3-1 triumph over Alexander Ursenbacher.
The Scot, who is now in second place on the all-time list of maximum makers with 12, was the most recent winner of the old British Open when it was last staged way back in 2004.
Judd Trump edged Mitchell Mann 3-2 to hang onto his world number one position, for now at least, with Mark Selby set to regain the top spot in the standings if he can better his fellow Englishman’s performance this week.
Among the others to reach the second round were Mark Williams, Jimmy White, and Ken Doherty, who each secured 3-0 successes against Tian Pengfei, Aaron Hill, and Zak Surety respectively.
Welsh Open winner Jordan Brown came from behind to deny Andrew Higginson in a decider, China’s Zhou Yuelong pipped Tom Ford by the same 3-2 scoreline, and there were wins for amateur top-ups Bai Langning, David Lilley, and Dylan Emery.
On Tuesday, the first round continues with Selby in action against Shaun Murphy in a repeat of their World Championship final from May, with the likes of David Gilbert, Jack Lisowski, Stephen Maguire, Kyren Wilson, and Stephen Hendry also set to enter the fray.
Live coverage is on ITV4 in Ireland and the UK.
Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)
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