The first round of the World Championship snooker is continuing at the iconic Crucible in Sheffield this week, with some scorching action having already been witnessed. Perhaps the first player to establish his credentials as the potential champion this year was the Aussie, Neil Robertson. The former world number one and 2010 champion blitzed Jamie Jones of Wales 10-2. Not far behind in terms of standard was this year's Welsh Open champion John Higgins, who was a convincing winner over Robert Milkins 10-5. Reigning world champion Mark Selby survived a major scare before edging out Kurt Maflin in a final frame decider. Third seed Ding Junhui miscalculated to miss a potential maximum 147 break, but still had too much for Mark Davis with a 10-7 success.

This year's championship has already been considered by many experts as being too close to call a winner at the outset. Ronnie O'Sullivan seems to be the favourite whenever he enters a tournament these days, but his days of complete dominance are probably behind him. The five-time champion was ultimately worn down by the control and ability of Selby twelve months ago, in the final. That success marked out the Leicester man as one who could potentially win several more world titles before he hangs up his cue. Selby narrowly beat Maflin 10-9 in this year's first round with two-century breaks included, but will need to improve his consistency to retain his title.

If not those two then Judd Trump is another who has shown good form this season. He staged an impressive fightback in Llandudno to beat O'Sullivan in the final of the World Grand Prix. Trump opens his campaign in Sheffield on Wednesday against Stuart Carrington, hoping to fulfil his early promise in the game.

Robertson has shown his ability from the start. His first round demolition of Jones included three sparkling century breaks, including an amazing 143 in frame three. At one stage, it had seemed that a whitewash may have been possible as he led 6-0. Yet, only losing two frames was impressive enough. This from a player who had been heavily fancied to win last year before Selby held his nerve in the semi-final to win 17-15.

Ding could also go close to becoming the first Asian champion at the Crucible. He is also safely through to round two already, despite losing his concentration in frame nine when on target for a maximum. After potting 12 reds, 12 blacks and then the thirteenth red, he played for the blue instead. With the frame already safe, he should have attempted to stay on the black. The £30,000 purse for a 147 break will have to wait for another day, but his form looks sound nonetheless. #Television