Mark Selby built a 6-3 lead over Kurt Maflin as the Betfred World Championship got underway at the Crucible.
Selby, aiming to become the only first-time winner to retain the title, looked in confident mood as he surged ahead of Crucible debutant Maflin.
World number one Selby is also targeting back-to-back ranking titles having won the recent China Open.
The standard was high in the early stages as Selby won the first and third frames with breaks of 84 and 108, while Norway-based Maflin responded with 96 and 60 in the second and fourth.
Selby then pulled away to lead 5-2 with further runs of 53, 69 and 56. Maflin’s 88 saw him pull one back but Selby took the last of the session to establish a three-frame advantage ahead of the concluding session at 7pm.
Hong Kong’s Marco Fu edged 5-4 ahead of Jimmy Robertson in a match which concludes tomorrow morning.
Fu has lost nine times in the first round in 14 previous Crucible appearances
Fu made breaks of 61 and 87 in building a 3-1 lead then Sussex’s Robertson potted ten reds with blacks in frame five before running out of position on 80.
The Englishman took the next two frames to lead 4-3, but Fu finished the session strongly with 56 and 66 to secure an overnight lead.