World Championship 2017: Neil Robertson beats Noppon Saengkham in first round
|Venue: The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 15 April – 1 May|
|Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, online and app.|
Former champion Neil Robertson was made to wait before seeing off Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham 10-4 in the first round of the World Championship.
The 2010 Crucible winner resumed 8-1 ahead, but Crucible debutant Saengkham finally relaxed to win three of the first four frames on Thursday.
A break of 76 saw Robertson, ranked ninth in the world, take the frame he needed to close out victory.
The 35-year-old Australian faces Marco Fu in the second round.
“I am very happy to get through. The damage was done yesterday when I took advantage of his nerves on his debut and punished his mistakes,” Robertson said.
“Today he came out without any pressure on him and he knocked in a lot of great balls to nick a few back. But at 8-1 ahead you will have to not to turn up to get beat from there.
“I was a little bit slack on a couple of shots but regained my focus after the interval and was determined to finish it off.”
Also in action
In the afternoon’s other match – the first second-round encounter of this year’s tournament – world number 14 Kyren Wilson leads 2015 world champion Stuart Bingham 5-3.
Wilson, 25, raced into a 5-0 lead against his out-of-sorts opponent, but Bingham recovered to score two 50s in taking the three remaining frames of the session.
In the evening session, Ronnie O’Sullivan faces Shaun Murphy in a mouthwatering and potentially spiky last-16 match.
Barry Hawkins resumes 7-2 up against Tom Ford in an all-English affair, the final first-round match to be played.