Judd Trump’s World Snooker Championship title defence is under serious threat after the reigning Crucible king fell 10-6 behind in his quarter-final encounter with Kyren Wilson on Monday.
The world number one, who lifted the title last year, is in danger of becoming the latest player to fall foul of the notorious Crucible Curse by failing to successfully defend his maiden crown in Sheffield.
An out-of-sorts Trump was outclassed by world number eight Wilson, who hit seven breaks over 50 as he moved to within three frames of a place in the semi-finals.
A record six-time ranking event winner this season – the last of which came at the Gibraltar Open following victory over Wilson in the final – the Ace struggled to replicate those performance levels during his wins over Tom Ford and Yan Bingtao in the opening two rounds.
But despite losing the first frame as the quarter-finals commenced, he responded well with breaks of 85 and 76 putting him 2-1 to the good.
Wilson, who has won five of his last seven meetings with Trump, hit back by taking four of the next five frames to lead 5-3 at the end of the morning session.
Appearing in his fifth consecutive Crucible quarter-final after victory over Martin Gould as well as his first-round bye following the withdrawal of Anthony Hamilton, the Warrior maintained his two-frame buffer as he and the Ace shared the first six of the evening.
The three-time ranking event winner then pulled three frames clear thanks to a run of 80, before a neat 63 clearance to the pink opened a commanding overnight advantage.
Mark Selby is also on the brink of a place in the semi-finals after establishing a handsome 11-5 lead over Neil Robertson.
Despite losing five of his six most recent meetings with the Australian, the Jester came flying out of the blocks with runs of 73, 72 and 66 on the way to a commanding 5-0 advantage.
Seeking a first semi-final appearance since losing to Selby at that stage six years ago, 2010 champion Robertson hit back with breaks of 73 and 66 to cut the gap to two frames at 5-3.
However, the three-time winner, who needed a decider to scrape past Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham in round two, restored his authority in the evening, taking six of the eight frames to move two away from victory.
Elsewhere, Ronnie O’Sullivan has work to do after falling 6-2 behind against an inspired Mark Williams.
The Welshman made 70 to take the opening frame of the showdown between two players boasting a combined eight World titles, but the Rocket fired back with 101 and 70 to go 2-1 up.
Williams has won just one of his last 15 meetings with O’Sullivan, while losing each of their four previous encounters at the Crucible.
However, the three-time champion reeled off five consecutive frames with runs of 72, 56 and 130 to establish a healthy overnight lead.
Meanwhile, despite evident signs of fatigue following his late-night victory over Jamie Clarke the previous evening, Anthony McGill opened up a commanding 7-1 advantage over fellow qualifier Kurt Maflin.
The Scotsman, who completed his 13-12 win at 12.30am on Monday morning, appeared to be running on pure adrenaline as he made breaks of 53, 63 and 78 on the way to taking a 3-0 lead.
Having beaten four-time champion John Higgins in round two, Maflin stopped the rot to trail 3-1 at the mid-session interval.
But it was all one-way traffic once again for McGill, who won the next four frames with runs of 92 and 81 along the way.
World Snooker Championship 2020 Scores
Monday August 10
25 Judd Trump 6-10 Kyren Wilson (Resumes Tuesday)
26 Anthony McGill 7-1 Kurt Maflin (Resumes Tuesday)
27 Mark Williams 6-2 Ronnie O’Sullivan (Resumes Tuesday)
28 Neil Robertson 5-11 Mark Selby (Resumes Tuesday)