Michael Georgiou avoided a slice of unwanted snooker history at the Crucible but could not stop Neil Robertson skating through to the second round of the World Championship.
Georgiou resumed on Sunday trailing 9-0 and not only staring at what would have been the championship’s second whitewash but requiring 83 points to avoid its lowest-scoring performance.
The 31-year-old Cypriot milked the acclaim of the crowd after a break of 90 in the opening frame before Robertson duly reeled off the next to wrap up the match 10-1.
“It was nice to be able to show people what I could do on the table and not just my sitting down skills,” said the Crucible debutant afterwards.
“I loved sitting there yesterday, but it’s not a feeling I want to get used to.
“It’s definitely inspiring – there’s so much history and it’s up there with the best experiences I’ve done in my life. When I walked out tonight I really milked it and I didn’t really think about the result.”
Robertson, who is enjoying his most successful season since he won the world title in 2010, joked that he had been in a quandary about Georgiou’s predicament after Saturday’s opening session.
“When I walked out last night I had about 400 people stop me and tell me, you’ve got to let him win a game. I like Michael a lot, but the killer instinct in me said I’d love to win that game 10-0.”
The Australian has overcome a series of personal issues over the last two years and is convinced his game, which has yielded three titles this season, is now benefiting from a new-found, more focused attitude.
“After everything I’ve been through I feel like a totally different person and the past doesn’t matter any more,” added Robertson.
“I just don’t care about it any more, and I think that is what makes me dangerous.”
Instead, it is now Shaun Murphy, Robertson’s last 16 opponent in waiting, who stands on the brink of a historic whitewash after he established a 9-0 overnight lead against Chinese qualifier Luo Honghao.
Murphy struck four centuries including three in the first four frames, and Honghao amassed only 78 points in total – over 100 less than the current lowest tally recorded by Danny Fowler in his 10-1 defeat to Stephen Hendry in 1993.
After Georgiou’s mini-revival, the only previous Crucible whitewash remains John Parrott’s 10-0 victory over a 62-year-old Eddie Charlton in 1992.
Former finalist Ding Junhui converted a 6-3 overnight advantage into a 10-7 victory over Scottish qualifier Anthony McGill.
Ding compiled three centuries including a 106 to wrap up the match after McGill had won two frames in a row to threaten a revival.
Ding said: “I played well – not that bad. I don’t mind who I play in the next round, I have to face the best players to win this title.”
John Higgins built a 6-3 overnight lead against Mark Davis but it was overshadowed by a suspected broken leg sustained by his brother Jason following a fall back-stage.