World Snooker Championship: John Higgins and Shaun Murphy into second round

John Higgins
John Higgins

A review of the action on day three of the Betfred World Championship, as Shaun Murphy completed a 10-0 whitewash of Luo Honghao and John Higgins also advanced.

Higgins finds extra gear

John Higgins' bid for a fifth world title is off and running with a 10-7 victory over Mark Davis.

Three centuries and some composed play in the tighter frames, most notably the pivotal 12th, hinted at the Wizard of Wishaw finding comfort back at the Crucible Theatre.

The same could not be said of his brother, Jason, who suffered a suspected broken kneecap after the first session of the match - after which Higgins spent the night with him at a local hospital.

Any ill effects were shaken off towards the end of the second session, though, with Higgins ultimately a convincing winner.

Davis had fought back from 6-3 down to get back within a frame, but Higgins took the next to give himself room to breathe.

An 82 break from Davis kept his hopes alive before Higgins found another gear, breaks of 135 and 132 in frames 14 and 16 putting him within one of victory.

The Scot took his opportunity at the first time of asking and will face a former world champion next, whether that's Stuart Bingham or Graeme Dott.

Murphy enjoys Crucible cruise

2005 champion Shaun Murphy wasted little time in completing his 10-0 whitewash of Crucible debutant Luo Honghao - just the second in the history of the event.

Murphy stroked in four centuries in a fabulous display on Sunday and a break of 59 upon the resumption was enough for him to close out the match.

John Parrott's 10-0 defeat of Eddie Charlton in 1992 was the only previous whitewash in World Championship history.

Luo, who gained notoriety on the eve of the tournament courtesy of his skills behind the piano, scored just 89 points - another new record, with the previous low having been 102.

"After the season I have had, never in my wildest dreams did I think I could come here and win 10-0," Murphy said.

"Going out this morning, it was tough to try to put that potential 10-0 to the back of my mind and try to play the right shots.

"This has been the worst season of my life, I have been in a daze. Yesterday I felt like Shaun Murphy again. In a way I'm looking forward to this season being over, but while I'm here I'll give it my best."

Ronnie given run-out by Cahill

Ronnie O'Sullivan will have to come from behind in the second session of his first-round clash with James Cahill if he's to avoid being on the end of one of the biggest shocks in World Championship history.

Cahill qualified as an amateur before drawing the sport's biggest name, but any nerves were quickly put to bed as he took a tight opener by a single point.

O'Sullivan registered breaks of 51 and 86 to move in front before a 71 from Cahill send them in level at 2-2 come the mid-session interval.

A pair of half-centuries from O'Sullivan gave him the lead once more, but Cahill shocked the Sheffield crowd with breaks of 70 and 54 before taking the final frame to lead 5-4.

He'll now sleep on that lead with the pair returning to the table on Tuesday morning.

Selby battles past Zhao

Mark Selby overcame a 5-1 deficit to beat Zhao Xintong 10-7 and reach the second round.

Selby was far from his best despite breaks of 102 and 131 in the morning, but kept in touch late on before his experience told under the bright lights of the Crucible Theatre.

Zhao, who lost the evening session 7-2, was better than the end result having missed a string of chances, with Selby far from his best at the end of a stuttering season.

Still, the Leicester man was quick to apply pressure when returning to the table, breaks of 62 and a second 131 quickly drawing him level, before the following four frames were shared.

Zhao's long potting kept Selby under pressure, but the Chinese youngster was profligate when among the balls and that eventually told.

A break of 71 put Selby ahead, he took a tight 16th frame, and was always in command of the next to complete the comeback and earn a clash with Gary Wilson.

Perry keeps hopes alive

Joe Perry clawed his way back to a 6-3 deficit in his clash with David Gilbert.

Perry trailed 4-0 early on but won three of the next five frames to ensure that the 16th seed will have work to do when the pair resume.

Monday's World Championship scores

  • Shaun Murphy 10-0 Luo Honghao
  • Mark Selby 10-7 Zhao Xintong
  • John Higgins 10-7 Mark Davis
  • Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-5 James Cahill
  • David Gilbert 6-3 Joe Perry

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