Defending champion Yan Bingtao (pictured above) crashed out of the Masters in the first round after suffering a 6-4 defeat to former world champion Mark Williams.

Breaks of 64, 71 and 57 had given Yan a 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval, only for Williams to reel off the next four frames in succession, aided by a remarkable one-handed fluke on the pink when escaping from a snooker in frame five.

A total clearance of 122 kept Yan’s hopes alive, but breaks of 40 and 85 from Williams in the next frame sealed an impressive win for the 46-year-old Welshman at Alexandra Palace.

“It’s just nice to be playing front of a crowd,” Williams told the BBC.

“Back home we’re still under (coronavirus) restrictions so to come here and play in front of this fantastic crowd is great. The arena is probably the best I’ve ever played in.

“I think it was a good game. I’ve been playing like that most of the season really, just been a bit unfortunate I had to miss a few events.

“There’s nothing better than beating the defending champ anywhere, but here is even more special. The first time I won this he wasn’t even born. Just to get to venues like this at my age is just brilliant.”

Former champion Neil Robertson has booked his place in the quarter finals of the Cazoo Masters, beating Anthony McGill 6-3

Robertson shrugged off a shaky start as he fell 2-1 down to battle back and claim a moral boosting victory over the always tough to beat Anthony McGill.

Robertson fired in breaks of 57,62,75 and 94 but knows he will have to up his level considerably to go deep in this year’s tournament.