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Robertson closes in on century of centuries

ESPN staff
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Neil Robertson was dominant throughout his first-round tie against Robbie Williams © PA Photos
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Neil Robertson moved within three frames of a century of centuries as he breezed into the second round of the World Championship with a 10-2 win over Robbie Williams.

World No.1 Robertson, leading 7-2 from Wednesday's session, needed just 44 minutes to complete the result, including breaks of 140 - which is now the new target for the £10,000 high-break prize - and 102 to take his tally of centuries to 97 for the season, which has already smashed the previous record of 61.

"It didn't matter who came out the hat, they were going to feel the wrath of some of my best snooker," Robertson said. "This is the best World Championship I've ever prepared for in terms of the practice and how I feel leading into it. I had to come out and destroy him tonight."

On the prospect of reaching 100 centuries, he added: "If I have a good run then perhaps I could crack the 100. I've got a best-of-25 match and if I play well then I'll probably just get over the 100 mark naturally without trying to think about it.

"Everyone remembers the first sportsman to achieve a certain record. The fact I'm the first to make 70, 80 and 90 is already good enough, but the 100 is one I'd love to do."

In the evening session, defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan went down 5-3 to Joe Perry.

Perry took the opening frame and raced into a 4-1 lead, but O'Sullivan responded with breaks of 116 and 75. Perry ended the session with a run of 99 and the pair will resume their second-round tie on Friday.

Mark Selby will head into the second session of his second-round tie against Ali Carter with a 5-3 lead.

Carter took the opening frame thanks to a 102 clearance before Selby notched five in a row. But two-time finalist Carter won the last two of the first session with breaks of 44 and 110 to get back to within two frames.

Meanwhile, Dominic Dale won a match at the Crucible for the first time in 14 years with a 10-5 victory over Mark Davis.

Dale's last win in this tournament came in 2000, when he beat Davis Gray 13-1 in the second round.

"Just being here is brilliant when you soak up the atmosphere," two-time ranking event winner Dale told WorldSnooker.com. "I have had some rock-hard draws here - Judd [Trump] twice and Ronnie in recent years."

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