Five-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan opened up a 10-7 lead over Kyren Wilson in the best-of-35 frame world snooker final on Saturday.
However, Wilson will be pleased with his efforts in the second session after coming back from 6-2 down.
For O’Sullivan, the pattern of play on Saturday evening echoed his only Crucible final loss, when he was beaten by Mark Selby in 2014 having held 8-3 and 10-5 leads.
The 44-year-old Englishman, appearing in his first world final since that defeat six years ago, did not have to be at his best to forge clear in a scrappy opening session.
Both players had to get accustomed to having around 300 spectators in the Crucible Theatre auditorium.
Playing without fans earlier in the tournament had been described by O’Sullivan as like competing “in a morgue”.
They could attend after the British Government revived their pilot scheme for selected sports events to have spectators, conditional on social distancing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The championships had been due to have spectators throughout the fortnight but the government abruptly halted the experiment after the first day due to an upsurge in infections nationwide.
World number eight Wilson, perhaps feeling the effects of his nerve-jangling 17-16 semi-final win over Anthony McGill where the final frame lasted over an hour, never achieved any sort of fluency in what is his first world final.
O’Sullivan, who also won his semi-final with Selby 17-16, did manage the sole century break of the contest and put together three others of over 50 points.
Despite there still being a projected three sessions to go, seven-time champion Stephen Hendry said it was game over.
“The match is over as a contest,” he told the BBC.
“I hope I am wrong because I want it to be a contest but 6-2 is too much for Wilson to come back from.
“He looked uptight and it looked like it almost meant too much, he needs to chill out.”
The final concludes on Sunday.