Ronnie O'Sullivan was 5-3 in front of Ali Carter at the end of the first session of the World Championship final at the Crucible Theatre here on Sunday.
O'Sullivan, bidding for a fourth world title in what he has said could be his last match before retirement, finished the session with a superb total clearance of 141, which followed his 92 in the preceding frame.
In what was also a repeat of the 2008 final, which O'Sullivan won 18-8.
Several earlier frames were marked by prolonged safety exchanges, with O'Sullivan going 2-0 up before Carter drew level at 2-2.
O'Sullivan had beaten several former champions in Peter Ebdon, Mark Williams, Neil Robertson, as well as two-time runner-up Matthew Stevens, to reach the final while Carter defeated Stephen Maguire, conqueror of seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry, 17-12 in his semi-final.
Source: AFP European Edition