Stuart Bingham must come from 5-4 down against Ali Carter tonight if he is to get past the opening hurdle at the Betfred World Championship.
It could have been much worse for defending champion Bingham as he trailed 5-1, but he fought back to win the last three frames to narrow the deficit.
Bingham started well by winning the opening frame with a top break of 45. But, looking edgy as the defence of his crown got underway, he made several errors as Carter took five in a row with top runs of 78 and 50.
Carter also had chances in frame seven but missed the black off its spot on 17 and later missed a vital green. Bingham capitalised to reduce the gap and that proved a key moment of the session as the Basildon cueman took the next two with 96 and 90.
On the other table, Marco Fu surged into a 6-2 lead over Peter Ebdon, a repeat of their epic 2006 semi-final which Ebdon won 17-16.
This time Fu started with a break of 81 before Ebdon levelled with a run of 67. Hong Kong’s Fu then found a break-building groove and fired in 111, 138 and 84 in going 5-1 up. Ebdon pulled one back but Fu took the last of the session and needs four more frames tonight to reach the last 16.
Both matches resume at 7pm.