Thanks for your company today
That'll do us. We'll be back from 9.45am tomorrow, with live coverage of the opening session of world number one Judd Trump's match with David Gilbert in the second round.
Take care out there until then, night all.
Williams blows away ‘fourth son’ Page to reach last eight with session to spare
Shaun Murphy dominates the opening session
That was a rough shift for Yan Bingtao, as Shaun Murphy established a commanding lead during which he also put one hand on the highest break prize with a total clearance of 144. He was well worth his 6-2 lead, but tomorrow is another day, and so is Monday; it's a three session match spread over three days, and there's plenty of snooker left in this one. For now, it's advantage Shaun.
Murphy 6-2 Yan
An excellent 101 wins the final frame of the night for Yan.
Murphy 6-1 Yan (30-70)
He's taken these superbly; a pink to the bottom right from Yan means that Murphy now needs a snooker to tie, but he won't be coming to the table for it as Yan then thin cuts the final red into the bottom left.
Murphy 6-1 Yan (30-31)
It's a positive enough start for Yan, as he clips in the red Murphy missed and opens the pack as the white comes off the side rail. Early on he furiously wobbles a black into the bottom left, but it drops and he regains his composure. Murphy's lead has gone, and the six remaining reds are all good to go.
Murphy 6-1 Yan (30-0)
Yan can still salvage something if he could nick the final frame of the night here, but he misses a long red to the bottom right, which Murphy then picks off with a thin cut to the yellow pocket. He knows he's got a struggling opponent here, so Murphy is aggressively tackling this break and trying to sort it in one hit. He leaves himself an incredibly difficult red though, bridging high over another red using the spider, and he's missed it. Now then, Bingtao, what have you got left?
Murphy 6-1 Yan
A swift 31 from Murphy ends a nightmare of a frame for Yan, and the gap widens further.
Murphy 5-1 Yan (65-20)
Yan takes red-black, but then goes in-off when trying to plug a red into the green pocket. Murphy can't convert a long, straight red into the bottom left though, which would almost certainly have secured the frame given the position of the balls, and Yan dunks a red into the right middle in response. It soon goes wrong again though; in wildly missing a red to the green pocket he inadvertently sends the brown in, and surely Murphy will finish this now as a red rolls gently over the green pocket as an easy starter.
Murphy 5-1 Yan (57-9)
Yan's attempt to fire back falls apart on nine as he misses the pink to the right middle. He's let Murphy off a careless shot there, but he doesn't get punished for it; Murphy makes 24 before missing a red high on the knuckle of the right middle, and Yan's still in this.
Murphy 5-1 Yan (33-0)
A long red into the bottom left gets Murphy going in the seventh frame, followed by a delicate thin cut on the black into the bottom right. He's sensing a chance to establish a big lead in this match, and he's going for it. On 33 though he takes his eye off a straightforward black off its spot and misses it. He was focusing on going into the pack there; it's a big chance for Yan to counter.
Murphy 5-1 Yan
Murphy makes no mistake, calmly picking off the final three balls to pinch the frame. That's a huge steal.
Murphy 4-1 Yan (39-50)
Yan thin cuts a superb yellow into the bottom right, going all around the angles to land on the green. The brown is a tough shot, as he bridges over the pink by tipping the spider on its side, but in it goes. Needing only the blue, he then misses a virtually straight pot from mid-range into the bottom left! Oh my, that's a big miss, and he's left the frame on.
Murphy 4-1 Yan (39-41)
Murphy slashes Yan's lead by taking all four remaining reds with three blacks and a blue. He's played a poor positional shot to get to the yellow though, and he overcuts and misses it to the right middle. The colours for the frame then, as the frame time ticks over half an hour.
Murphy 4-1 Yan (9-41)
We're locked in a safety exchange here, with no obvious pot on for either player and lots of slow, roll-up nudges into the pack. Murphy does get a red down in the middle of it all, but otherwise this is a testing exchange until Yan nails a long red into the yellow pocket. That's a great shot, and he starts picking off the loose reds. On 19 though he overcuts a black into the bottom right as he comes off two cushions to open the remaining four reds beneath the pink, and he's left a big chance for Murphy.
Murphy 4-1 Yan (8-22)
Murphy misses a long red, and appears to have got away with it until Yan launches a brilliant long red into the yellow pocket. He's got a nice table to go at here, with the back on to both corners and reds in the open, but it crashes to a halt on 22 when he misses the simplest of reds into the bottom right with the rest.
Murphy 4-1 Yan (8-0)
Yan throws the cue at a long red into the bottom right. It jaws out, and eventually settles over the bottom left for Murphy to pick off. He can't add to it, though Murphy later gets in again with a gentle cut on a red to the same pocket to land on the blue. That chance only yields seven, as he makes a hash of getting on the black and has to go back to baulk again.
Murphy 4-1 Yan
Murphy does mop up to the pink, jabbing it in from short range with the rest, and he's three frames ahead again.
Murphy 3-1 Yan (38-46)
Yan takes red-yellow-red-blue in response, but can't screw the cue ball enough off the latter to move the final red off the left rail. He plays a safety instead, but it's a poor one; it leaves Murphy a punt at the red into the bottom right, and it's duly launched in. A superb yellow into the bottom left follows, and if he can mop up to the pink he'll take the frame.
Murphy 3-1 Yan (35-37)
Great sportsmanship from Murphy here, as he calls a push shot on himself that wasn't picked up by anyone else in the arena. After the reds are split open, Murphy then gets in by picking off a red over the bottom left from distance, and there's big points on here. He can only pick off 21 though before missing a cut on a red to the bottom left.
Murphy 3-1 Yan (14-33)
Yan's just had a break curtail on 33, while Murphy has drilled in a red but with no angle to open up a tight pack of reds. Safety play follows, and Murphy gets down a couple of solitary reds, before laying a snooker that sees Yan come off one cushion and gently land on the pink. Yan escapes at the second attempt, and this tight frame rumbles on.
Switch it up
As Mark had us out of there before the interval, we'll now be switching to the remainder of the first session between Shaun Murphy and Yan Bingtao. We'll join it with Murphy 3-1 up...
Mark Williams is through to the quarter-finals
What a performance that was. This new found attitude of Williams is really paying off so far in Sheffield. He's going for everything he can, fearless and bordering on reckless, and his eye is so in right now that he's making complex clearances look laughably routine. Higgins really didn't do a lot wrong today, he just ran into an irresistible force. How will Williams fare with this swashbuckling style in the quarters against either Mark Selby or Mark Allen? I can't wait to find out, because he's the greatest show on baize so far in this championship.
Higgins 7-13 Williams
It's a break of 77 to finish; Williams has comprehensively won this play-off of legends.
Higgins 7-12 Williams (0-69)
There goes frame ball red! Williams is home and hosed. This has been stunning; he has absolutely obliterated the player that thrashed the worlds' best at the Players Championship a few weeks back.
Higgins 7-12 Williams (0-53)
A black takes Williams to 53, and he is fair sauntering around the table here. Three more of the eight remaining reds with colours should tin lid this.
Higgins 7-12 Williams (0-22)
A simple equation now for Higgins, it's ether win every frame or go home. If he can take this one at least, we'll be back after the interval. This isn't the best way to start though; a safety goes all kinds of wrong and leaves Williams a simple red into the bottom left with the rest. He's off on one again; Williams is not just in the zone, he's got a fully paid up mortgage in there today.
Higgins 7-12 Williams
Williams empties the table for a smooth break of 85. This is Williams rolling back the years; specifically three years, to when he shocked everyone and won the world title in his forties. The way he's playing here, he could well do it again.
Higgins 7-11 Williams (12-65)
Big trouble here for Higgins, who catches a red too thick when playing a safety and serves it up over the right middle for Williams. A quick 27 puts him on frame ball red, and he middles it into the heart of the bottom right.
Higgins 7-11 Williams (12-37)
After finishing on the wrong side of the blue, Williams leaves himself a mid-range red into the bottom left. It's close, but it jaws out and he's left Higgins an easy starter. From that, Higgins can only make 12 before losing position and playing back to baulk.
On the other table, Shaun Murphy has gone 3-0 up on Yan Bingtao with a break of 144, the highest of the tournament to date.
Higgins 7-11 Williams (0-24)
My oh my, Williams is draining some long ones. He drops another long red into the bottom right at the start of the 19th frame to hold for the black, and he's off again. It's thrilling to watch him in this mood; high on confidence and going for everything.
Higgins 7-11 Williams
Higgins leaves Williams a long snick on the yellow to the green pocket. Williams rolls it deadweight, but catches it too thick and he's left it over the pocket. That's curtains; Higgins dishes up to the pink and he's pegged a frame back.
Higgins 6-11 Williams (49-39)
Williams immediately drains a long red into the bottom left, and he's on the black. One good split on the two reds that trapped Higgins soon follows, and before you know it he's cleared all the remaining reds off the table and he's on the colours for a sensational steal. As I type that, he overcuts the yellow to the green pocket and it doesn't drop! Higgins can't see the potting angle though, and these six balls could be huge in the context of the match.
Higgins 6-11 Williams (49-2)
In getting to 41 Higgins almost nudges the black into the bottom right, but just survives it. One shot later, a glorious, deadweight red across the table and into the bottom right, and he's a heavy favourite for the frame. In potting the black though he loses position, trapped on the side cushion behind two reds, and it's end of break as he plays safe back to baulk.
Higgins 6-11 Williams (21-2)
At the start of the 18th frame Williams gets a solitary red down but no more. Higgins then misses an attempted plant, leaving Williams an easy starter. It's such a chance but Williams inexplicably misses the black that follows, and hands over the reins of an inviting table to Higgins.
Higgins 6-11 Williams
A 76 from Williams banks the first frame of the night, and he needs two more to put this to bed.
Higgins 6-10 Williams (24-81)
Williams's break hits 42, and there are four reds left on the table. One more plus a colour should sort it, and he drains red-pink to do exactly that.
Higgins 6-10 Williams (24-40)
Williams is in trouble, stuck near the top cushion with no clear path back to baulk. The solution? He drops in a stunning, deadweight red into the bottom right to land on pink to left middle! That's a great shot, as is a long, straight blue into the green pocket a few shots later. Seemingly out of nothing, he's got a chance.
Higgins 6-10 Williams (24-26)
A good snooker from Higgins, in behind the brown, extracts 12 in misses from Williams and leaves a free ball. Higgins puts Williams in from his new position behind the green, and Williams gives up another twelve before making a thin connection on a red off two cushions, to glance the white back to baulk.
Higgins 6-10 Williams (0-26)
After a few minutes of safety, Williams gets in first with a long red into the bottom left, and he's on the blue. Some delicate touch play around the black spot is needed afterwards, from which Williams eventually runs out of position and plays back to baulk.
Our MC Rob Walker has baized the players. John needs seven, Mark needs three; let's get about it.
While we focus on the conclusion of that match, a really intriguing match gets going on the other side of the divider. Shaun Murphy, the 2005 world champion, will take on Yan Bingtao, the rising star who sensationally won the Masters at just 20-years old in January. You will be kept abreast of developments.
They’ve got seven world titles, 16 Triple Crowns and 54 ranking events between them; it wasn’t going to be dull, was it? This face-off between two legends of the baize has gone in phases. John went 3-1 up, only to lose nineon the spin as Williams went off on one; Chastened, Higgins then hit back with three frames in a row – inclusive of getting 15 reds and 14 blacks through a maximum break attempt – to leave it at 10-6 to Williams. Stick with it, that’s all I’m saying.
Washed down your tea? Nice one. Settle in with us for the evening session of day eight of the 2021 World Snooker Championship, which is really starting to flex on this second weekend. Ronnie’s gone, Robertson and Kyren are through and we’ve got an absolute doozy on the go tonight: one of Mark Williams and John Higgins will be advancing to the quarter-finals.
Join us at 6.45pm
There's a third denouement incoming, as our evening session will see the conclusion of the match between Mark Williams and John Higgins, with the former 10-6 up on the latter. We'll see you then then.
Kyren Wilson is through to the quarter-finals
That was hard work, but Wilson never shies from such a task. Hawkins threw everything at Wilson to turn his 9-4 deficit into 9-9, but when it was put on his toes Wilson responded and pulled away decisively when it mattered. For the sixth year in a row, he's through to the last eight, and what a match we've got in store when he gets there; Neil Robertson will be his opponent.
On our other table, Selby now has a 5-2 lead over Allen.
Wilson 13-10 Hawkins
With the pressure off, Wilson relaxes to make a 102 and take frame and match.
- John Higgins v Mark Williams
- Shaun Murphy v Yan Bingtao
A word on Ronnie
There will be no title defence for O'Sullivan, but what a lash he gave it tonight. You couldn't even really argue that he gave himself too much to do; he did it, in regaining the lead and moving within one of victory, but two sensational clearances undid his efforts. He will rue that red he missed in the final frame, but I'm sure at the same time recognise the moxie of McGill in picking up the pieces. It's another match that will slide neatly into that packed canon of Crucible classics.
'I keep coming back because I love the game ' - O’Sullivan after McGill defeat
There was another game on tonight too, and Kyren Wilson edged ahead of Barry Hawkins 9-7 in their match.
As for McGill, he'll now face the winner of Stuart Bingham and Jamie Jones in the quarters.
Recap: McGill beats O'Sullivan in a thriller
Before tonight, Anthony McGill had never beaten Ronnie O'Sullivan in six attempts. Tonight he led 10-6, after winning 9 of 11 frames, only to watch on helpless as Ronnie rattled off five frames in a row. McGill pulled it back, O'Sullivan pulled away; an epic 136 and then a nerveless 85 in the decider dragged McGill over the line. After the crushing disappointment of losing in a decider in the semi-finals to Kyren Wilson last year, an experience that could have irrecoverably ruined many players, McGill has sealed a cathartic victory over the defending world champion.
What's becoming evident at the Crucible Theatre is that McGill has got game; buckets of courage, a nerveless temperament even on a bus tour of Shredsville and a game that holds up tight over the long haul. He's turned over Selby here, he's turned over Murphy here and now he's scored surely the most significant victory of his life. McGill is no longer just a tricky draw, he's right in the pack of contenders that could win this. What a night for him.
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