Barry Hawkins is through to the World Championship second round for an 11th successive year after sealing a comprehensive 10-3 victory over Matthew Selt at the Crucible.
Leading 6-3 overnight, 2013 finalist Hawkins wasted no time in securing his place in the last 16, where he will play another former Crucible runner-up in Kyren Wilson.
Although world number 32 Selt made the early running in the opening frame of the evening, the Hawk swooped to take it on the colours and that swung the momentum completely in his favour.
Making his third Crucible appearance, Selt was completely outclassed thereon by the in-form world number 11, who arrived at the Crucible fresh from reaching three ranking event semi-finals since Christmas.
Breaks of 76, 126 and 82 were more than enough for Hawkins to book his second-round berth once again in Sheffield.
“I felt good tonight; I felt like I was focused a bit better and concentrating well,” he told Eurosport.
“I nicked the first frame and that settled me down straightaway, then I finished off strongly there.
“The main thing was to win that round and look forward to the second round. I’ve done that now and can relax for a little bit.”
Three-time World champion Mark Williams reeled off five frames without reply to round off a commanding 10-4 win over debutant Sam Craigie.
The Welshman, adopting an unorthodox break-off by rolling the cue-ball into the pack of reds via the top cushion, fell 2-0 behind as Craigie settled with a break of 74.
But Williams hit back with runs of 72, 52 and 85 as he won five of the seven remaining frames during the morning session to edge his nose in front at 5-4.
However, it was one-way traffic upon the contest’s resumption in the evening, with contributions of 73 and 94 the highlights of a dominant session by the 46-year-old, who will play John Higgins in a repeat of the 2018 final.
“This morning was a bit edgy; a few frames could have gone either way,” he said.
“Tonight, I thought I did well. I don’t think Sam did anything wrong.
“I potted some long ones, made some good breaks and kept him really tight.”
Earlier in the day, world number one Judd Trump put the finishing touches on a 10-4 victory over Liam Highfield; his highest winning margin during the opening round at the Crucible.
Holding a commanding 7-2 overnight lead, the 2019 champion had runs of 51, 84 and 52 on the way to setting up a last-16 showdown with former semi-finalist David Gilbert.
Elsewhere, Mark Selby is on the brink of joining Trump in round two after establishing a healthy 8-1 advantage over Kurt Maflin.
The three-time champion produced stunning breaks of 101 and 142 along the way, while he also snatched three frames on the black to leave last year’s quarter-finalist with a mountain to climb.
Although, Shaun Murphy has work to do as he trails 5-4 overnight against Mark Davis.
The 2005 World champion snatched the opening frame on the black, but lost four of the next five to the Battler from Hastings, who is making his 12th Crucible appearance since debuting in 1994.
But the Magician won two of the next three – making a brilliant break of 113 in the latter – to leave the contest finely poised ahead of their second session on Thursday.
World Snooker Championship 2021 Scores
Wednesday April 21
Shaun Murphy 4-5 Mark Davis (L)
Mark Selby 8-1 Kurt Maflin (L)
Judd Trump 10-4 Liam Highfield (R)
Mark Williams 10-4 Sam Craigie (R)
Barry Hawkins 10-3 Matthew Selt (R)