Barry Hawkins and Neil Robertson soared into the Second Round of the 2017 World Championship and completed the Last 16 line-up on Thursday, while Ronnie O’Sullivan established a healthy 6-2 lead over Shaun Murphy at the Crucible.
The Hawk eased into round two for the seventh consecutive year after a commanding 10-3 victory over Tom Ford, as Robertson avoided back-to-back first-stage exits after completing a 10-4 success against debutant Noppon Saengkham.
Leading 7-2 overnight, Hawkins lost the opening frame of the session as Ford knocked in a break of 50 to give himself the faintest of hopes.
However, they were soon dashed when, after moving 8-3 in front, the 2013 finalist stole frame 12 on the black after needing a snooker, before sealing victory in the next to set up a clash with 2006 champion Graeme Dott.
Neil Robertson was a 10-4 winner against Noppon Saengkham (Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Fellow left-hander Robertson, who led 8-1 going into the second session, was forced to wait as Thai debutant Saengkham took a lengthy 10th frame before a run of 54 reduced the deficit to 8-3.
Nevertheless, the Australian soon regained command to seal the deal by winning two of the next three frames, with breaks of 70 and 76 booking a date with Marco Fu in the Last 16.
Meanwhile, O’Sullivan opened up a commanding 6-2 lead against Murphy at the conclusion of their first session.
A neat 91 clearance saw the Rocket draw first blood and, despite the 2005 champion responding with 84 for 1-1, breaks of 75, 128 and 76 opened up a 5-1 advantage.
Murphy stopped the rot by snatching the next on the black, but his opponent hit back with 74 to remain in the driving seat.
Elsewhere, Kyren Wilson established a narrow 5-3 lead over Stuart Bingham after the first eight frames of their second-round showdown.
The Warrior started well with runs of 71 and 70 on the way to taking the first five frames for 5-0, but 2015 champion Bingham responded with 52 and 56 to reduce the deficit to just two going into the match’s conclusion on Friday.
Betfred World Championship 2017 Scores
Robertson 10-4 Noppon Saengkham
13*) Barry Hawkins 10-3 Tom Ford
Stuart Bingham 3-5 Kyren Wilson
Murphy 2-6 Ronnie O'Sullivan