World Snooker Championship: Yan Bingtao sees off Martin Gould in first round at Crucible

Yan Bingtao in action at the World Championship
Yan Bingtao is making his third appearance at the World Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 17 April-3 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Reigning Masters champion Yan Bingtao closed out an impressive 10-6 win over qualifier Martin Gould in the first round of the World Championship.

An entertaining first session was tied at 4-4, despite the Chinese world number 10 scoring five half-centuries.

Two tons and a break of 70 stretched Yan’s lead to 8-5 and a fluked red helped him to within a frame of a win which he sealed after a scrappy finale.

Sheffield-based Yan, 21, faces Shaun Murphy or Mark Davis in round two.

World number 27 Gould, who was making his 11th Crucible appearance, battled superbly but was plagued with bad luck in the closing stages.

Yan, who could take Stephen Hendry’s record and become the youngest world champion, wasted several chances to get over the line in frames 15 and 16, before eventually doing so after Gould unluckily potted the white.

In the other morning match, Anthony McGill leads qualifier Ricky Walden 5-4 in a tense contest between two former Crucible semi-finalists.

Walden, who made the last four in 2013, recorded back-to-back century breaks as he fought back to lead 3-2 but Scotland’s world number 16 regained his composure, compiling his first ton of the match and an 88 to edge ahead.

A sparse crowd of 109 were in place at the 980-capacity venue on the second day of the tournament, which can be up to a third full for the first round.

Still to come

In the afternoon session, Scotland’s world number five John Higgins begins his quest for a fifth Crucible title against Chinese world number 53 Tian Pengfei.

World number 15 David Gilbert is only three frames from victory over Chris Wakelin, the 2019 semi-finalist having been in superb form in scoring three centuries and three other breaks of more than 50. He leads 7-2 after Saturday’s opening session.

The 2010 champion Neil Robertson resumes on Sunday evening with a 6-3 advantage over China’s Liang Wenbo, while world number eight Stephen Maguire trails Welsh qualifier Jamie Jones 5-4.

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