2020 semi-finalist McGill’s first-round contest with Ricky Walden looked destined for a close finish with the Scot leading just 5-4 overnight but he produced a majestic display last night to secure a 10-5 triumph.
The 16th seed smashed in breaks of 83, 130, 69 and 58 to clinch a convincing win and a similar performance in the last 16 could cause big problems for reigning champion O’Sullivan, who looked unconvincing in parts of his own first-round victory over Mark Joyce.
Meanwhile, John Higgins was on the verge of completing a fightback to avoid a shock first-round exit.
Four-time world champion Higgins saw an overnight 4-3 deficit extended to 7-4 by China’s world No.52 Tian Pengfei before he dug deep to claim five frames on the spin, including a sublime break of 127, to move within one of victory at 9-7.
However, the duo were pulled off the table before being able to complete the match, with the game scheduled to be finished after yesterday’s night session.
And snooker’s organisers were forced to defend a Crucible attendance crisis, with only 83 tickets sold for the morning.
Restrictions on hotel and restaurant use, as well as the stringent Covid safety measures in place to even enter the venue, appear to have put fans off.
A spokesman for World Snooker Tour said: “The numbers later in the event are much bigger, with some sessions over the coming weekend and final close to asell-out.
Watch the World Snooker Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport app from April 17- May 3
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