Last year’s losing finalist Kyren Wilson battled past 2013 runner-up Barry Hawkins 13-10 in a high quality second round encounter at the Betfred World Championship.
Both players are accustomed to success at the Crucible and they now boast 12 quarter-final appearances at the event between them. Hawkins had already appeared in the last eight on six occasions, while Wilson progresses to face the in form Neil Robertson in what will be his sixth consecutive World Championship quarter-final appearance.
They summoned a scintillating standard of play throughout this second round tie. Across the 23 frames that were played, there were 22 breaks over 50, including four century contributions.
It was Wilson who held a 9-7 lead at the start of play this afternoon. However, Hawkins had the momentum after rallying to close the gap to just two frames from 9-4 down.
Breaks of 107 and 53 in the opening two frames this afternoon saw the Hawk complete the fightback and level the tie at 9-9. However, Wilson responded to take the following two frames and head into the mid-session 11-9 in front.
Hawkins pulled back within a frame, before Wilson ruthlessly closed out the win with breaks of 90 and 102 to round off his 13-10 victory.
Wilson said: “I was really pleased with the way I handled it. I never got on top of myself at any moment. I give myself a kick up the backside every now and then, but I kept in check and made sure I stayed positive.
“Anything below my best in the quarter-finals against Neil Robertson and I am going home. That only gives me one thing to think about in my mind. I have to play good snooker. Sometimes it is quite nice to have that main focus. Neil has been tipped to win the tournament and is a heavy favourite. I feel like that is a win win situation there.
“I’ve been scoring very heavily this season. Neil has always scored very heavily. I hope it is that case again in the quarter-finals and the fans enjoy watching some great snooker.”
On the other table, three-time World Champion Mark Selby secured a 6-2 lead over former Masters champion Mark Allen.
Selby top scored with a fine break of 134 this afternoon and made six breaks over 50 in total. They will return to play their second session tomorrow afternoon from 2:30pm.