Two snooker legends lit up the Betfred.com World Championship yesterday.
Ronnie O'Sullivan turned on the style to take a 7-2 lead over Dominic Dale while Stephen Hendry scraped over the line 10-9 against Joe Perry after a very edgy decider.
All eyes were on O'Sullivan after a fractious season and a build-up which included a threat to withdraw from the tournament.
The good news for his many fans was that he arrived in Sheffield last Thursday determined to dig in and work hard prior to the event. He prepared well and at times played superbly.
Several times in his career O'Sullivan has bounced back from controversy and won a title.
For instance, following his infamous walk-out against Hendry at the 2006 UK Championship he immediately won the Masters.
After his lewd behaviour at a China Open press conference three years ago he landed a third world title.
Maybe he feels he has a point to prove. O'Sullivan certainly gave his supporters hope...but he needs to keep it going against Shaun Murphy and possibly John Higgins in what remains a very difficult draw.
O'Sullivan has often said he is pondering retirement and, of course, nothing has ever come of it but Hendry is genuinely considering hanging up his cue.
He may need to win one more match to stay in the top 16 but has already decided not to enter the PTCs next season and this is likely to cost him his spot among the elite at some point in the near future.
I know Stephen loves winning above mere playing but it would be a great shame to lose him from the circuit at the age of just 42.
Hats off to Barry Hawkins for withstanding a fine comeback from Stephen Maguire, who recovered from 6-2 down before Hawkins won 10-9.
This isn't necessarily a huge shock but it was Hawkins's first win at the Crucible in six visits to Sheffield and I'm sure a source of huge satisfaction for him.
Up today are Marco Fu against Martin Gould, re-running a first round match from last year which Gould won 10-9.
Mark Allen, who is thankfully receiving the treatment he needs for depression, faces a rejuvenated Matthew Stevens in one of the first round's most intriguing matches.
Graeme Dott, a Crucible form horse having appeared in three finals there, starts out against Mark King.
But all eyes will be on O'Sullivan again, not just for how he plays but for what he says after what should now be a routine victory.