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Si Jiahui dumps out Mark Williams in decider to continue Crucible heroics

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Jack Lisowski denies Ding Junhui in Crucible decider as Wilson, Allen and Day also reach Last 16

Si shakes hands with Williams (Photo credit: Martin Rickett/Alamy)

Si Jiahui continued his Crucible love affair by defeating three-time champion Mark Williams in a deciding frame to reach the Last 16 on Tuesday.

The Chinese sensation, who enjoyed a dream debut run to the semi-finals last year, held his nerve in another nail-biting decider to deny the sixth seed.

Williams came into the second session with a narrow 5-4 lead, but Si started the day by reeling off four consecutive frames to take command of the contest.

Recent Tour Champion Williams responded with back-to-back frames before Si clinched frame 16 to move to the verge of victory at 9-7.

Si’s first match-winning chance came in the following frame, but a missed pink allowed Williams off the hook as he went on to force a decider.

The 21-year-old, however, regained his composure to produce a clinical break of 77 to seal another famous win in Sheffield.

“I am so happy to beat a legend of the game and one of the most in form players,” said Si. “I was relaxed in the final frame as I thought what is the worst that can happen? I lose and see my family?

“Like last year I booked my flight back to China for the day after the match so I will have to re book that again! I am so happy.”

Williams suffered a First Round exit at The Crucible for the first time since 2015, and hinted that he may have played his last match at the sport’s spiritual home, though insisted he had no plans to retire.

“I enjoyed every minute of it,” he told BBC Sport. “Having a look around there when I lost, I’m going to miss the place. I’m going to be 50 next year, you’ve got to make the most of it while you can.

“I don’t know if I will be back here again. I’m not considering my future but it’s a tough game so to keep getting to these venues is hard, you have to treat it as if you’re not going to get back.

“Fingers crossed you will see me playing next year but I can’t keep going on for ever.”

Meanwhile, Robert Milkins narrowly avoided becoming the seventh seed to crash out in the opening round as he edged out Pang Junxu in a deciding frame.

The world number 16 trailed 5-4 following Monday’s first session and looked to be staring defeat in the face at 9-8 behind, but dug deep in a cagey climax to get over the line.

Earlier in the day, Kyren Wilson stormed into an 8-1 lead over the returning veteran Dominic Dale – whose sole frame came courtesy of a break of 120.

Wilson, the 2020 runner-up, produced breaks of 52, 75, 123, 96, 50, 77 and 73 in an emphatic display to leave himself needing just two frames for victory when they resume on Wednesday morning.

Mark Allen is just three frames away from a place in the Last 16 after opening up a 7-2 advantage over Robbie Williams.

Like Dale, Williams also fired in a century break (105) as well as an 86, but it was Allen who dominated despite high breaks of 70 and 80.

Jack Lisowski holds a slender 5-4 lead over 2016 finalist Ding Junhui at the halfway stage of a high quality showdown.

Ding took the opening two frames with breaks of 127 and 60 before Lisowski replied with breaks of 71 and 91.

Ding added further breaks of 98 and 90 in taking a 4-3 lead, but only for Lisowski to respond with contributions of 69 and 67 to edge ahead overnight.

Ryan Day also holds a 5-4 lead over Barry Hawkins going into their second session, with the Welshman firing in a high break of 110 on his way to a 5-2 advantage.

Hawkins, celebrating his 45th birthday, followed up earlier breaks of 108 and 66 with a 93 as he sealed the last two frames of the evening to close the gap.

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World Snooker Championship 2024 Day Four Scores

Tuesday April 23

Round One

10am
Kyren Wilson (8-1) Dominic Dale
Ding Junhui (4-5) Jack Lisowski
Mark Allen (7-2) Robbie Williams
Mark Williams 9-10 Si Jiahui
Barry Hawkins (4-5) Ryan Day
Robert Milkins 10-9 Pang Junxu