By Clive Jones
BBC Sport at the Crucible
Ken Doherty survived a tremendous rally from Shaun Murphy to seal a dramatic 10-9 win in the first round.
Doherty is bidding for his second world title
The 1997 champion looked to be on course for a comfortable passage into the second round as he cruised into an 8-4 lead.
But when Murphy knocked in a century break in the 13th frame, it signalled a run of four frames to make the score 8-8.
The next two frames were shared, taking the match into a nail-biting decider, and it was Doherty who held his nerve to sink the final black for victory.
"I would have been gutted if I had lost, but Shaun played so well and took on shots I would never have dreamed of," said Doherty.
"I stuck in there and managed to get a knee-trembling clearance at the end. There was so much pressure on it but it is fantastic to have come through it.
"This is the mother of all tournaments and it's what snooker is all about."
I can stand back and say what a fabulous match it was
Murphy was gracious in defeat, saying: "I congratulate Ken because he played a huge part in what was, in my opinion, the match in the round.
"Good luck to him in his next match because he deserves to do well. I've been able to come back when the chips are down and I am proud of myself.
"When I have given 100%, even though I have lost, I can stand back and say what a fabulous match it was."
First round result: K Doherty (Ire) 10-9 S Murphy (Eng)
51-1 (51), 115-0 (57), 6-92, 22-54, 15-74 (71), 131-0 (131), 0-80 (80), 64-8, 117-15 (66,51), 62-44, 70-35 (57), 76-32, 3-101 (101), 1-67, 58-63, 0-81 (73), 82-13, 1-93, 56-42.