Mark Selby overcame the first hurdle in his bid to defend the World Championship by completing a 10-7 win over Jamie Jones.
Selby, who was a doubt for the tournament on account of his battles with mental health, made a bright start to the tournament on Saturday morning and returned for the evening session to complete the job.
The 38-year-old was the most recent player to defend the title when winning it for the third time in 2017.
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He arrived at the Crucible in Sheffield with no form to his name, on account of a tough season and not being sighted in competitive action since the Welsh Open at the end of February.
But he's a hardened competitor comfortable in the unique demands of the Crucible, and the other players in the draw would have taken note of both the result and performance against Jones.
It was not a vintage display, as his opponent had chances to punish, but Selby overcame a wobble and pounced on mistakes to suggest there is more to come.
Trailing by three frames from the first session, Jones required a fast start and had a chance to make one.
Selby missed frame-ball red and Jones pulled off a string of stunning pots in a counter that threatened to secure the steal. But after doing the hard work in developing the green, he inexplicably went in-off when looking to get from green to brown.
The look of relief on Selby’s face was telling as he cleared the colours to extend his lead to four frames.

Defending champion Selby seals nervy win over Jones in first round

The 11th frame followed a similar pattern to the first of the session, as Selby got in first only to miscue on 40. Jones countered with a half century, but failed to close it out and Selby won a safety battle before clearing the colours.
As in the first two frames of the evening, Jones had a chance in the third. On this occasion he was the front-runner and after opening up a lead he got over the line following an arm-wrestle on the colours and a lengthy exchange on the final black.
Selby missed a series of pots at frame ball in the 12th, including an alarming one on the black where he hit the wrong side of the object ball.
That pattern continued in the 13th as he missed a red to bottom left on the wrong side and Jones got on a run of 53, only to miss frame ball to the right middle. Selby countered but missed a tough green along the baulk rail, and Jones took it to share a mini-session he could arguably have won 4-0.
The drama continued in the 14th, and it turned Jones’ way after Selby attempted a thin clip on the final red - only to miss it and leave a free ball from which Jones cleared up to cut the gap to two.
After losing three frames on the spin, Selby began to look a little ragged and in danger of unravelling.

'That was world-class!' - Selby lands pressure century against Jones

So it is to the four-time champion’s credit that he halted the Jones juggernaut in the 15th with a single-kill break of 137 to move within one from the victory. It was a notable landmark, as Eurosport commentator David Hendon revealed it was Selby's 100th century at the World Championship (91 at the Crucible and nine in qualifying).
Welsh snooker is flying high at present, with six players in the main draw. Jones had plenty of support and was not prepared to bow out with a whimper, and he kept his hopes alive with a run of 51 in the 16th.
Jones had an opportunity to get within one frame, but he could never find ideal position in his break in the 17th frame and eventually missed a long blue to the yellow pocket. A red hanging over the green pocket handed an easy starter for Selby, and he eked out a lead before putting Jones in a devilish snooker which yielded a free ball and ultimately a place in round two.
Selby does not play again until Friday, and has time to sharpen his game in a bid to keep his title defence alive.
Shaun Murphy won the final frame of the first session to keep himself in the hunt, but he trails Stephen Maguire 6-3.
Maguire was the dominant figure and won four frames on the spin to lead 6-2, but Murphy kept his hopes alive by taking the ninth. They play to a finish on Sunday evening.
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