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'I was shaking': Stunning run takes Brecel into world snooker final

Eleven in a row: Belgium's Luca Brecel is into the world final. ©AFP

London (AFP) - Luca Brecel admitted he was "shaking" after staging one of the most astonishing comebacks in snooker history as he won 11 frames in a row against China's Si Jiahui to reach the World Championship final with a remarkable 17-15 win on Saturday.

The Belgian, who won seven frames in a row after coming from behind to beat seven-times world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan in the quarter-finals, looked all but beaten at 14-5 behind against the 20-year-old Si.

But he began his astounding rally by winning the final five frames of Friday's evening session and carried on from where he left off Saturday to end Si's bid to become the youngest finalist at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre and the first debutant world champion since Wales' Terry Griffiths back in 1979.

Brecel was the first player in Crucible history to overturn a nine-frame deficit and this win saw him into his first world final, with the 28-year-old having never previously got past the first round.

"At 14-12, 14-13 I knew I had a chance, but I think 14-14 I was really believing it because I could see he was struggling and I was playing great stuff," said Brecel.

"But I knew I could have lost as well.To win is absolutely unbelievable, it is the biggest game of my life.I was in disbelief, I was shaking.

"The whole game I was expecting to lose, even with a session to spare, so to even have a chance to win was the craziest feeling ever in my body and I can't believe I did it."

He added: "I have never won a game here and now I am in the final, it is some story.It is going to take a while to sink in."

There has never been a Chinese winner of the world title, although Ding Junhui was beaten in the 2016 final by Mark Selby.

Si looked like he might at least equal Ding's feat only to be left in his chair as Brecel kept winning frame after frame.

Nevertheless, the qualifier showed admirable composure to end Brecel's run of 11 frames with a break of 91.

Si also had opportunities to send the match into a final-frame decider before a clipped red along the cushion allowed Brecel to close out a stunning success. 

Si said he hoped the chastening defeat would make him a better player.

"I was feeling kind of disappointed, but not very, he played nearly perfect snooker in the final two sessions and my safety let me down," he explained.

"I have realised there are flaws in my game, there are so many things I can still improve, so in the coming season I will be confident I can beat anyone."

Brecel will now play either four-times world champion Selby or Mark Allen in the final.

Selby is 11-10 ahead in a match set to be played to a finish later Saturday.

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