Ronnie O’Sullivan races clear of Stephen Maguire as Yan battles back to parity with Williams
Ronnie O’Sullivan put one foot in the Semi-Finals of the 2022 World Snooker Championship by storming into an 11-5 lead over Stephen Maguire on Tuesday.
O’Sullivan, who is bidding to equal Stephen Hendry’s record tally of seven world titles, got off to a strong start by opening up a 6-2 lead at the close of the first session.
A high break of 123 moved the world number one 6-1 up before Maguire made a 56 in frame eight to stop the rot.
It was the Scot who made the brighter start when the pair returned in the evening, producing successive breaks of 62 and 73 to peg back to just 6-4 behind.
O’Sullivan, however, reeled off five frames in a row with breaks of 64, 55, 69, 94 and 73, before Maguire stopped the rot with a 66 break to trail by six overnight.
“It felt quite tense out there, with the atmosphere in this venue, it’s impossible not to feel tense,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport.
“The quicker you can get a nice break and get cueing, you settle.
“I just grafted and I enjoyed the battle, not so much the battle with Stephen, just myself trying to stay in a good place and give myself a chance to play well.
“I just play each session as it comes, you just have to try and forget the scoreboard, it’s just a marathon this tournament, there’s no point looking for the winning line.”
O’Sullivan will return to The Crucible on Wednesday morning needing just two frames to reach a record 13th World Championship Semi-Final.
Meanwhile, former Masters Champion Yan hit back from 6-2 down to square up his tie with Mark Williams at eight apiece going into their final session.
A break of 61 saw Williams double his lead early on before Yan replied with successive breaks of 102 and 85 to draw level.
Consecutive breaks of 60, 106, 72 and 77 saw the Welshman storm clear at 6-2, but Yan took the opening frame of the evening and followed in with a break of 80 to close the gap.
Frame 11 went the way of Williams, but successive breaks of 72 and 103 saw the Chinese star make further inroads at just 7-6 behind.
He then clinched a marathon 14th frame before making it six frames from seven to hit the front, but only for Williams to steady the ship by winning the final frame of the session to leave the tie delicately poised.
John Higgins opened up a 5-3 lead over man of the moment Jack Lisowski following the first session of their Quarter-Final tie.
Lisowski, who edged past 147 hero Neil Robertson in a deciding frame epic on Monday night, picked up from where he left off by making a 98 break to seal the opening frame.
Higgins levelled before producing breaks of 91 and 67 to move 3-1 ahead, but Lisowski stayed in touch thanks to a break of 77.
Both players struggled to produce their free-flowing best, but it was Higgins who clinched two of the next three frames to go two clear overnight.
Judd Trump also holds a 5-3 advantage going into the second session of this match against 2015 World Champion Stuart Bingham.
A brace of half centuries saw Bingham take the lead, before Trump fired in a superb break of 105 to level.
The next two frames were shared before 2019 champion Trump added breaks of 50 and 75 to make it 4-2, and after Bingham had hit back with a brilliant break of 106, Trump took the final frame of the session to move two clear.
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World Snooker Championship – Day 11 Scores
Tuesday April 26
Judd Trump 5-3 Stuart Bingham
John Higgins 5-3 Jack Lisowski
Yan Bingtao 8-8 Mark Williams
Ronnie O’Sullivan 11-5 Stephen Maguire