Australia's Neil Robertson, the second seed, reached the second round of the World Snooker Championship today with a win over Liang Wenbo ©Getty Images

Former world champions Neil Robertson and John Higgins were among the winners on the third day of the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

Australian Robertson, the second seed for the tournament, overcame China's Liang Wenbo 10-5.

Robertson led 5-4 after the first session, with Wenbo winning the first frame of the second session to level the scoreline.

From there, Robertson pulled away reeling off five straight frames, including narrowly winning frame 13 after Wenbo missed a pot at the last red.

Another former champion to advance was Scotland's John Higgins, with the fifth seed beating Matthew Stevens of Wales 10-5.

Resuming today with a 6-3 overnight advantage, Higgins kept hold of his lead throughout, and won a crucial 14th frame by clearing the colours to effectively end his opponent's resistance.

The World Championship lost its first seeded player late on day three as 12th seed David Gilbert, a semi-finalist at last year's event, lost 10-8 to Norway's Kurt Maflin.

Scotland's John Higgins, a three-time winner of the event, reached round two of the World Snooker Championship today ©Getty Images
Scotland's John Higgins, a three-time winner of the event, reached round two of the World Snooker Championship today ©Getty Images

Maflin, 36, who is ranked 43 in the world, had a chance of a maximum break in frame 16 but lost position on the final red.

He still managed a century break in the frame to help him level the contest at 8-8, before he won two scrappy frames to complete a surprise victory over his higher ranked opponent.

Elsewhere on day three, England's Ronnie O'Sullivan put in a clinical performance to take an 8-1 lead over Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

The five time world champion reeled off the first six frames of the match with two century breaks, two breaks in the seventies and two in the eighties.

Un-Nooh stemmed the tide but O'Sullivan took the next two and is just two frames away from victory when the match finishes on day four.

In the day's other match, China's Yan Bingtao leads England's Elliot Slessor 7-1, with that match also concluding tomorrow.

Three other first-round matches get underway on the fourth day of snooker's blue riband event with England's Jack Lisowski playing Scotland's Anthony McGill, England's Shaun Murphy against Thailand's Noppon Saengkham and three-time world champion Mark Selby against Northern Ireland's Jordan Brown, with the Lisowski-McGill match playing to a finish.

Although a reduced capacity crowd was present at the Crucible Theatre on the opening day's play, the tournament is now being played behind closed doors until at least the final, after the United Kingdom Government postponed a pilot scheme allowing spectators at selected sporting events in the country for two weeks, because of concerns about a rise in coronavirus infections in the UK.