Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
SIPA USA/PA Images O'Sullivan: bidding for a sixth world title.
# Rocked
Ronnie O'Sullivan's Crucible challenge is hanging by a thread against Ding
Ding on the brink of World Championship semis after opening up 10-6 lead.

WORLD NUMBER FOUR Ding Junhui took control in Tuesday night’s second session against Ronnie O’Sullivan to lead 10-6 in their World Snooker Championship quarter-final.

China’s Ding, the losing finalist against Mark Selby in the Crucible last year, rattled off five frames in a row from 5-5 including a century clearance against.

But O’Sullivan managed to hit back with a quick-fire century in the final frame of the evening to give himself some hope going into Wednesday’s final afternoon session in the best-of-25 frame match.

Ding needs just three more frames of the possible nine to reach his second successive semi-final while O’Sullivan has it all to do if he’s to continue his bid for a sixth world title.

It was a high-quality encounter with a break of at least 50 in every frame in the morning session and that astonishing standard was repeated in the evening.

Ding, 30, has not beaten world number 12 O’Sullivan in a ranking event since 2006 but looks as if he could end the hoodoo and prevent the Englishman equalling Stephen Hendry’s record of 12 Crucible semi-finals.

Ding had a 63 clearance to go 5-4 ahead which O’Sullivan matched to level.

Ding then fired in breaks of breaks of 64, 65, 120, 59 and 56 to go 10-5 up before O’Sullivan responded with a typically brisk 104.

In the day’s other quarter-finals, four-time world champion John Higgins was in complete control at 11-5 ahead of Kyren Wilson.

Hong Kong’s eighth-ranked Marco Fu, another bidding to become Asia’s first men’s world champion, trails title-holder Selby 6-2 in their quarter-final.

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And Barry Hawkins leads Stephen Maguire 5-3 after their opening session.

© – AFP 2017

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