Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ding Junhui shared the first eight frames of their Betfred World Championship second round clash to end 4-4 after the opening session.
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The Rocket booked his place in the second round with a quickfire demolition of Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh. He stormed to a 10-1 win in just 108 minutes, the fastest match in World Championship history. By contrast, China’s Ding required a dramatic final frame decider to book his second round spot, beating Mark King 10-9.
O’Sullivan comfortably leads Ding in their head-to-head record, having won 13 to Ding’s four. However, Ding was victorious 6-4 in their most recent meeting at the 2019 UK Championship, an event which he went on to win. The Asian number one also won their last Crucible meeting, downing O’Sullivan 13-10 in the 2017 quarter-finals.
O’Sullivan took the opening frame this evening with a break of 61. However, Ding immediately responded with runs of 57, 45 and 76 to surge into a 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval.
When they returned, breaks of 60 and 101 helped O’Sullivan to three frames on the bounce, which saw him move 4-3 ahead. However, Ding pegged him back by taking the final frame to set up an intriguing second session. They return on Saturday afternoon at 2:30pm.