Anthony McGill and Judd Trump progress with rusty performances

The seeds faced challenging opening contests against Ryan Day and Chris Wakelin respectively.

Anthony McGill and Judd Trump progress with rusty performances
McGill celebrates but knows he must improve (photo: Getty Images / Naomi Baker)

The performances of both Anthony McGill and Judd Trump in the first round of the 2018 World Championship have been synonymous with the way the opening days of the tournament have unfolded at the Crucible - a combination of exciting, nervy, tense and an emotional rollercoaster.

Day gives up a strong advantage

With five former world champions and six seeds already out of the tournament, Anthony McGill looked as if he could be joining a handful of fellow top 16 players in an early departure. 6-3 down overnight against Ryan Day, who had concluded the evening with the highest break of the tournament thus far, McGill lost the opening frame of the second session.

Yet the contest descended into a scrappy battle with both players missing numerous opportunities. However, it was McGill who was potting just enough to edge himself back into the match. He won five of the next six frames without making a 50 break to draw the game level at 8-8.

McGill eventually found his range to take the lead for the first time in frame 17 with a break of 60. A bewildered Day then continued to miss chances in what was to be the final frame, throwing away opportunities to force a decider on both the last pink and black. Eventually, McGill took his chance and completed a remarkable comeback that should not have even been an opportunity. The Scotsman faces Ding Junhui in the second round.


Nervy Trump holds off brave Wakelin comeback

Judd Trump also struggled to manoeuvre a 6-3 advantage over the line as he found the world number 55, Chris Wakelin, enjoying a spell of inspired form. The world number four made breaks of 65 and 57 to win two of the opening three frames, losing one by just four points after missing both of the final two balls.

Yet Wakelin, a Crucible debutant, continued to battle as he made breaks of 68 and 51 to win the next two frames by narrow margins. Missed opportunities clearly dented Trump's confidence and the qualifier then went on to be successful in another two frames to draw level at 8-8.

Trump was able to refocus and take frame 17 with a 51 break before Wakelin looked set to take the contest to a decider as he opened up a 65-0 lead. Trump responded with a break of 61 but missed the final black before Wakelin downed a nervy long pot to make the score 9-9.

Both players missed a series of chances to put together a match-winning break but it was Trump who finally took advantage on the fourth attempt to set up a last 16 contest with Ricky Walden. Like McGill, Trump will have to play much better in the second round to continue progressing in the competition.

Allen and Hawkins looking strong

Meanwhile, Mark Allen and Joe Perry started the second round with a high-quality opening session. The duo made seven half-century breaks in the eight frames but it is Allen who enjoys a slender overnight advantage at 5-3. Perry took the opening frame as he continued the form that saw him defeat defending champion Mark Selby before finding himself chasing shadows as Allen made breaks of 94, 99, 67, 73 and 50.

Barry Hawkins put a stuttery opening round performance behind him as he also raced into a 5-3 lead with some impressive break-building against the lowest ranked player left in the competition, Lyu Haotian. Contributions of 91, 71, 64 and 129 gave Hawkins a 4-0 advantage, conceding just 31 points in the process. Yet the world number 68 kept himself in the contest with three of the four frames after the mid-session interval, making breaks of 73 and 95 that surrounded a 103 by Hawkins.