World number 14 Jack Lisowski is four frames from making the quarter-finals of the Betfred World Championship for the first time, leading pre-tournament favourite Neil Robertson 9-7.
The Gloucestershire cueman has appeared at the Crucible on five previous occasions, but is yet to go beyond the second round. He exited at this stage 12 months ago, at the hands of Robertson, and will be hoping to enact his revenge this time around.
Robertson has waited 12 years since his only Crucible victory thus far, when he was crowned 2010 World Champion. However, he is in top form this year and enjoying what he describes as his best ever season. The Australian has already landed silverware at the English Open, Masters, Players Championship and Tour Championship.
They came into today locked together at 4-4, following yesterday evening’s first session. Lisowski came flying out of the traps, with back-to-back century contributions of 119 and 122, to open up a two-frame lead at 6-4.
Robertson replied with a break of 60 to take the 11th, but it was Lisowski who took the last before the mid-session to establish a 7-5 cushion.
They continued to produce a scintillating standard upon the resumption and shared the remaining four frames, with each one containing a contribution over 50. A stunning break of 137 from Lisowski in the 14th was the highest of the match so far, but it was Robertson who made 69 in the final frame to end within touching distance at 9-7. The concluding session of this best of 25 encounter will be played tomorrow from 7pm.
On the other table, 2019 World Champion Judd Trump seized the initiative in his clash with Anthony McGill by moving 10-6 ahead.
The Ace in the Pack has recently shown signs of a return to form, having gone without ranking silverware for much of the season. Trump landed his first ranking title of the campaign last month with a 10-4 defeat of Matthew Selt in the Turkish Masters final, a match where he also made a 147.
McGill typically produces his best snooker in Sheffield. He made the semi-finals back in 2020, where he lost an epic encounter with Kyren Wilson 17-16. The Glaswegian also defeated Ronnie O’Sullivan 13-12 at this stage last year, but lost his quarter-final with Stuart Bingham.
They started the afternoon level at 4-4 and shared the first two frames, before Trump claimed two on the bounce to lead 7-5 at the interval. The Bristolian then won a 33-minute frame when play got back underway to stretch his advantage to 8-5, but McGill pegged him back by taking the 14th thanks to a run of 97.
A break of 79 saw Trump regain his three-frame cushion and he added the last of the session to end four in front at 10-6. They will return for the concluding session tomorrow at 7pm.