When Ronnie O'Sullivan Walked Out On Stephen Hendry | 2006 UK Championship Quarter Final

Si Secures Early Lead

Chinese debutant Si Jiahui edged to a 5-3 lead over world number 10 Luca Brecel, after a pulsating first session of their semi-final encounter at the Cazoo World Championship.

It’s been a stunning run to the semis from world number 80 Si, who came through three rounds of qualifying just to reach the Crucible. In the final stages he then scored a thrilling 10-9 win over Shaun Murphy, beat Robert Milkins 13-7 and edged out Anthony McGill 13-12 to make the last four.

The 20-year-old is the youngest player to make the semi-finals since Ronnie O’Sullivan back in 1996. He’s just the third Chinese player to appear in the hallowed single table set up, following Ding Junhui and Marco Fu.

Brecel came into this year’s event having never won a match at the Theatre of Dreams. The Belgian lost in the opening round in each of his first five appearances in the event, but he’s more than made up for lost time. Brecel staged a brilliant fightback to knock out defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan yesterday, winning seven frames in a row from 10-6 down to emerge a 13-10 victor.

Brecel took the opener this afternoon, predominantly thanks to a break of 50. Si responded in stunning fashion, firing in runs of 125,102 and 97 to light up the famous Sheffield venue and lead 3-1 at the mid-session interval.

When play resumed, Si stretched his lead further to move 4-1 up and crafted a run of 53 in frame six, before Brecel composed a steely 72 to claw a frame back. The seventh frame saw Brecel receive 36 points in fouls, when Si snookered himself on the colours after potting a red. A break of 69 from Brecel followed to make it 4-3.

The final frame came down to the colours and Brecel had a chance to draw level. He missed a long range pink and Si stepped in to deposit the final two balls to lead 5-3 overnight. They return for the second session tomorrow morning at 10am.