A review of the action on the opening day of the English Open as Ronnie O'Sullivan and Judd Trump both progressed to the second round.
O'Sullivan sneaks through
Ronnie O'Sullivan's value-for-money factor remains high in Crawley after he came from behind to beat Jamie O'Neill 4-3 and avoid a shock exit.
When the event was first staged at the venue last year, O'Sullivan made headlines with comments about the smell of the arena, knocked in a 147 and suffered a semi-final thrashing to Mark Davis in what even by his standards was a rollercoaster week.
And the evidence of Monday's clash with O'Neill suggests nothing much has changed as The Rocket scraped through against a player ranked outside the world's top 100.
O'Neill started in dream fashion with a century and was soon into a 2-0 lead, before O'Sullivan awoke with breaks of 90 and 102 to draw level.
Undeterred, O'Neill took a scrappy fifth frame, but breaks of 54 and 81 kept O'Sullivan in the competition.
He was by no means the only big name taken the distance, as defending champion Stuart Bingham also won 4-3.
Ball Run had to dig deep to beat Kacper Filipiak in a high-quality match which included three centuries in the final four frames, with Bingham's breaks of 103 and a closing 111 enough to send him through.
In the same section, Ding Junhui was among the early casualties as he lost 4-3 to Dominic Dale, a player who had been expected to retire in the spring but is now through to round two here having made the quarters in Germany recently.
Trump enjoys comfortable opener
Judd Trump got his title bid under way with a routine 4-0 defeat of Peter Ebdon.
Trump didn't need to be at his best to seal his routine passage to the second round - neither player managed a break of 50 in the match - but he still managed to treat the crowd to some 'naughty snooker' as Ebdon was unable to keep pace with the reigning world champion.
"It was a bit of a struggle," he told Sports Beat after the match. "It’s always tough when there are a lot of rounds to get through and the most important thing is I got the job done.
"We’re still fairly early on in the season so it’s important to get match practice with a lot of big events coming up in the next few months.
"The first time you go somewhere you never know what the facilities are going to be like, but if you’re entering the tournament a second time you can’t pick fault with it.
"They made a few changes so it’s a bit better than last year, but the conditions are the same for everyone so there are no excuses."
Trump, who will face either Sam Baird or Daniel Well in round two, was also able to reflect on how things have changed for him as world champion as he plots a route back to Sheffield.
"It’s easier for me to relax and play now," he said.
"I’ve qualified for all of the big events already, so I can focus on gathering some confidence for the UK Championships coming up.
"I’d love to win that and hold all three at the same time. This tournament is mainly about increasing my confidence ahead of the upcoming tournaments, and I always fancy my chances of winning any competition.
"But it’s going to be impossible to win all four. That’s just not realistic for anyone."
Hawk makes flying start
Barry Hawkins made an impressive start to his Home Nations campaign as he thumped Amine Amiri 4-0.
Hawkins got the better of a tight opening frame and never looked back thereafter, a break of 97 quickly doubling his lead before he closed out the match with a run of 99 in frame four.
Mark Selby also impressed, breaks of 103 and 130 helping him to come from 2-1 down to beat Barry Pinches 4-2.
Bingtao dumped out; Perry progresses
Earlier on Monday, Yan Bingtao became the first high-profile casualty of the week as he was humbled 4-3 by Mei Xi Wen.
Bingtao became the first teenager in 13 years to win a ranking title when he claimed Riga Masters glory earlier in the season but despite firing in two century breaks, he was always on the back foot in this first-round clash as Wen dictated terms from the off and proved the stronger thanks to breaks of 71, 68 and 97.
Joe Perry enjoyed a comfortable morning as he beat Mark Lloyd 4-1 while Sunny Akani came through a high-quality match with Martin Gould to win 4-3.