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Defending champion Luca Brecel dumped out of World Snooker Championship by David Gilbert

Defending champion Luca Brecel is defeated on the opening day of the 2024 World Snooker Championship, losing to qualifier David Gilbert.

Luca Brecel's title defence at the 2024 World Snooker Championship has been ended on the opening day of the tournament by David Gilbert.

Despite a spell of poor form since prevailing at the Crucible 12 months ago, the Belgian had been fancied to progress from the opening round.

For a large part of his contest with former semi-finalist Gilbert, it appeared that he would successfully book his place in the last 16.

However, despite holding leads of 7-3 and 9-6, Brecel would remarkably fail to get over the line, Gilbert claiming the final four frames for a famous win in Sheffield.

Brecel had opened up with breaks of 91, 134 and 104 on the way to forging 5-2 ahead, but Gilbert would take three of the next five frames, including a 115 break of his own.

The defending champion even edged a tight 10th frame 66-61 to move closer to victory, while a clearance of 85 put him one way from round two.

Instead, the 29-year-old would fail to get over the line in frames 16 and 18, allowing Gilbert to nervelessly secure progress with successive breaks of 65, 81, 53 and 65 respectively.

Gilbert, the current world number 31, now goes through to face either Robert Milkins or Pang Junxu.

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