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Ruthless Allen fires out title statement


In hand: Mark Allen during his thumping victory

In hand: Mark Allen during his thumping victory

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In hand: Mark Allen during his thumping victory

Mark Allen waltzed to his first World Championship victory in three years with a 10-2 first-round thumping of Lyu Haotian.

The Antrim potter fired three centuries and two further breaks above 50 to kick-start his latest bid for a maiden Crucible title and will now face either three-time winner Mark Selby or Kurt Maflin for a place in the quarter-finals.

Allen, seeded 13th in Sheffield, has reached just one ranking event quarter-final in a below-average season and was knocked out of the first round of the Masters and second round of the UK Championship.

But he appeared comfortable from the first ball against Lyu and knocked in a 139 break in the first frame to tie Kyren Wilson for the biggest of the tournament.

Chinese player Lyu, making just his second appearance at the World Championships, was nervous and Allen gladly took advantage of the 23-year-old's mistakes.

He moved 4-0 up by yesterday morning's mid-session interval, while a 102 break moved him 5-1 ahead shortly after.

Lyu started to find his feet and a 68 break closed the gap to 5-2, but Allen hit the accelerator and breaks of 116 and 69 moved him 7-2 up at the halfway stage.

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Lyu's body language suggested he knew his fate was sealed and Allen quickly wrapped up the match in the evening session by rattling off three quick frames.

The 10-2 scoreline is Allen's biggest win in the World Championships first round and will fill him with confidence ahead of a potentially tricky tie with Selby, who is expected to beat Maflin.

Allen leads their head-to-head record 10-9 but has only reached the quarter-finals in one of the last nine World Championships.

Elsewhere, 2015 champion Stuart Bingham stunned the much-fancied Ding Junhui in a final-frame decider.

Ding made it 9-9 in the afternoon session but the players were forced to stop due to the session overrunning, and come back after Allen's win for the deciding frame.

Jack Lisowski beat Ali Carter 10-9, while Judd Trump has a 7-2 lead against Liam Highfield.

Watch the World Snooker Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport app

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