Reanne Evans' quest to become the first woman to play in the World Championship at the Crucible ended with a dramatic 10-8 qualifying defeat against 1997 world champion Ken Doherty.
Evans, former partner of Ulster snooker star Mark Allen whose place at the Crucible is guaranteed given his world number 12 ranking, matched the Dubliner every step of the way at the Ponds Forge Centre in Sheffield before being edged out on a black ball.
The 29-year-old from Dudley is the 10-times women's world champion.
Belfast's Joe Swail starts out with a battle of the ages today against 18-year-old Swiss Alexander Ursenbacher.
The 45-year-old - who reached the World Championship semi-finals in 2000 and 2001 - will face either Dominic Dale or John Astley if he wins.
Six-time world champion Steve Davis is up against Jamie Cope today.
Six-time beaten finalist Jimmy White, hoping to reach the Crucible for the first time since 2006, will take on James Wattana tomorrow.
Northern Ireland international Gerard Greene tackles Mitchell Mann on Sunday in the second round of a possible three after beating Elliot Slessor 10-4 in his opening match.
The concluding session of all 16 final round matches will be played on the last day, Wednesday, April 15. The 16 winners on what has been coined 'Judgement Day' will earn a coveted spot in the final stages, to run from April 18 to May 4 at the Crucible in Sheffield.