Judd Trump is confident “something is going to click” after making a winning start to his World Championship title bid.
The 2019 Crucible king booked his place in the second round after completing a 10-4 victory over debutant Hossein Vafaei on Thursday.
Having established a 6-3 overnight lead, Trump won four of the five frames upon the resumption of play to safely overcome the first hurdle.
But it was far from vintage from the Ace, who recorded a top break of just 58 along the way.
Despite capturing the Champion of Champions and Turkish Masters titles, Trump arrived at the Crucible off the back of a fairly modest season by his standards.
The world number four, who plays Anthony McGill in round two, recently suggested he had lost some love for the game having struggled to produce his optimum performance levels on a consistent basis.
Nevertheless, he hopes he can gradually build momentum as the tournament progresses in Sheffield.
“I never play my best in the first round. It’s just about improving as the tournament goes on,” he said.
“When you get to a level and you’re not producing that all the time, it’s difficult for anyone.
“I feel happier having all my family and friends here rather than doing it alone.
“Just being able to have everyone back at this event, I feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed. It’s good to be able to chill out in between frames and matches.
“I’m always someone that’s one ball away from been at my absolute best. The other players take matches or matches, but it can literally be one shot and all of a sudden, I feel I’m at my absolute best again. It’s just about getting that feeling back.
“At the World Championship, I can always play my way into the event, and I feel like over that amount of frames, something is going to click at some point.”
Elsewhere on Thursday, Luca Brecel suffered yet another first-round exit at the World Championship; the Scottish Open champion beaten 10-5 by Noppon Saengkham, who became a father for the first time just 24 hours earlier.
Meanwhile, Mark Williams hit three centuries on the way to establishing a commanding 7-1 lead over protégé Jackson Page, but Zhao Xintong has work to do after falling 5-3 behind against Stephen Maguire.
World Snooker Championship 2022 Scores
Thursday April 21
Round One / Last 16
Luca Brecel 5-10 Noppon Saengkham
Jackson Page (1-7) Mark Williams (L16)
Judd Trump 10-4 Hossein Vafaei
Zhao Xintong (3-5) Stephen Maguire (L16)