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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Felix Keith

Luca Brecel pulls off greatest ever World Snooker Championship comeback to reach final

Luca Brecel won 11 successive frames to complete a remarkable comeback victory over Si Jiahui and reach the final of the World Championship.

Brecel had appeared down and out when he trailed the Chinese debutant 14-5 on Friday, but he produced a staggering period of dominance to turn things around at the Crucible and win 17-15. The Belgian, who beat seven-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan in the previous round, accumulated 916 points to Si's 179 between the 20th and 30th frames of the match.

The 28-year-old had never won a match in his five previous visits to Sheffield, but will play the winner of the other semi-final between Mark Selby and Mark Allen in the final.

"I told my girlfriend that if I win it'll be the most emotional feeling ever and the most crazy feeling inside my body,” he told BBC Sport. "I could not believe it when I got the chance at the end. I was shaking so much and to win means so much in such a tough game and in such a big tournament.

"I could never dream of winning from 14-5. It is crazy. The way I played to come back was not scrappy, I just played great snooker and that's the most important thing. Mentally I have always been quite strong and in the last couple of seasons I have improved in that department."

He added: “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. 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.”

Luca Brecel had never won a match at the Crucible before this year (George Wood/Getty Images)

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry was seriously impressed with what he saw from Brecel. “It is a phenomenal achievement from Luca and he didn't do it by trying to upset his opponent by trying to tie him up with safety. He did it with swagger and belief in his own game,” he said on the BBC.

“I think that is the most impressive thing. He didn't change his approach, he just played his normal game and trusted it.”

Despite suffering a heartbreaking defeat, it was still a breakout tournament for 20-year-old Si. He was not even playing on the professional circuit a year ago, but his run to the final four at the Crucible has opened up a world of possibilities as he climbs from 80th to 36th in the world rankings

“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 said. “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.”

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