Ronnie O'Sullivan is a short price with most bookies to claim a sixth title here and it could be argued he may well claim that title with out again facing an opponent playing as well as David Gilbert did here.
The fact that today started with Gilbert somehow 6-3 down after a first session where the Tamworth native was the top of his game was a mystery and he kept up that high standard this morning to push Ronnie into producing his best to eventually win 10-7.
Of course by now the result is only secondary as Ronnie will once again be grabbing the headlines tomorrow for the wrong reasons after refusing to speak to the media following the match.He can expect a hefty fine from World Snooker for this and you really have to wonder at times why he brings these things on himself.
Elsewhere his fellow veteran Mark Williams quickly booked his place in the last 16,turning a 7-2 lead into a 10-4 win over Graeme Dott & John Higgins looked in superb form this morning as he opened up a 7-2 lead over Ryan Day.
In the evening matches Michael White looked as though he may have weathered the storm against Sam Baird when he turned a 5-4 overnight deficit into a 7-6 interval lead,but not for the first time,that 15 minute break changed things as Baird reeled off four in a row when they resumed to run out a 10-6 victor.
On the other table,recent two time ranking runner up Ricky Walden was having a real battle against Robbie Williams as both men struggled for form.Walden looked in real trouble here when he trailed 7-5,but a four frame burst moved him within one of the win at 9-7 and although Willaims produced a great century to get back to 9-8,Walden got over the line in the next to win 10-8.
In the other match started today Mark Selby seemed a bit rusty early on following his recent absence from the game,but seemed to warm to the task and opened up a comfortable 7-2 lead over Milkins at end of play.
So that was that for today.Tomorrow see's two more of the real fancies for this tournament entering the fray as Mark Allen & Neil Robertson cue up for the first time at this years championship.It'll be interesting to see if the betting markets are correct.