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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)

Mark Selby sees off Gary Wilson to reach quarter-finals at the Crucible

Mark Selby saw off Gary Wilson 13-7 to reach the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship and keep alive hopes of a fifth title.

Selby, who last lifted the trophy at the Crucible in 2021, resumed with a 10-6 advantage which was soon extended following a confident 109 clearance in the opening frame of Monday’s concluding evening session.

Two half-century breaks helped Wilson reduce the deficit to 11-7, before Selby, who sank a superb thinly-cut black with the extension, edged the next 73-45 after both men had spurned chances to put the frame to bed.

There were more nerves in the 20th frame, with Wilson unable to capitalise on a poor break from Selby, who then failed to build on a run of 35.

Selby took four attempts to get out of a snooker behind the brown before going in off the blue when again well set.

Wilson, though, missed a long red and then a poor safety gifted a match-winning opening to Selby, who this time made no mistake to wrap up victory.

Selby goes on to face fellow four-time champion John Higgins, who completed an impressive win over Kyren Wilson with a session to spare on Sunday evening.

Mark Selby and John Higgins (right) met in the 2017 World Snooker Championship final (Steven Paston/PA)

“I’m very happy to get through tonight. It is a long tournament, you don’t want to peak too soon and for me it is just about winning. You can always improve as the event goes on,” Selby said on the World Snooker Tour website.

Selby and Higgins have contested two world finals, the veteran Scot winning in 2007 and the Englishman tasting victory a decade later.

“Mentally it is the biggest test for me playing John. You need to stay strong, because he doesn’t give you anything,” Selby said.

“I know I’m in for a tough match and the way he played against Kyren Wilson was phenomenal. If he plays anything like that, I know I’ll have to be on top of my game.”

Si Jiahui continued to impress on his Crucible debut (Tim Goode/PA)

Earlier, Si Jiahui had picked up where he left off to secure a spot in the quarter-finals with a 13-7 victory against Robert Milkins.

The world number 80 is the lowest ranked player left in the tournament and continued his fantastic debut at the Crucible despite a rocky start on Monday afternoon.

The 20-year-old started the final session 11-5 ahead needing just two frames to seal a spot in the last eight, but both players felt the pressure in the opening frame with Milkins missing plenty of chances to score.


Si sunk the final red and cleared up the remaining colours to go within one frame of victory, but a great start to the second was soured after he missed the match ball, allowing Milkins to steal the frame with a clearance of 69.

The Welsh Open champion gathered momentum as he took the third frame, but Si denied any chance of an incredible comeback after a dominant display in the fourth saw him finish with a stunning century break to reach the quarter-finals.

“Since the qualifiers, I have felt peaceful and calm emotionally,” Si said. “I treat it as if it is a minor event, like a daily practice, and I try to enjoy the Crucible.”

Anthony McGill (right) held off Jack Lisowski to reach the quarter-finals (Tim Goode/PA)

In Monday’s other evening match, qualifier Anthony McGill fended off a spirited fightback from Jack Lisowski to win 13-8 and book a quarter-final against Si.

McGill had resumed with a lead of 11-5, having at one stage looked set to complete his victory with a session to spare when 10-1 up before Lisowski produced a run of four straight frames.

Glaswegian McGill, who knocked out former champion Judd Trump in the first round, cut a frustrated figure in his seat during the opening frames of the concluding session as Lisowski looked to build some momentum at the table again.

Jack Lisowski had looked to mount a comeback (Tim Goode/PA)

Breaks of 74 and 75 helped ‘Jackpot’ pull back to 11-7 before he edged a tense 19th frame 57-43 to reduce the deficit to just three.

McGill then looked well set in the next after capitalising on a foul and a miss to build a lead, only to end up out of position in the reds.

Lisowski, though, could not capitalise, going in off following a kiss on the pink, which allowed McGill to build a frame-wining break to head into the mid-session interval needing just one more for victory.

After Lisowski, a quarter-finalist last year, could not push on from a break of 40, McGill seized his opportunity to edge in front, leaving a snooker needed.

McGill, though, sunk the blue into the top left pocket to seal a place in the last eight once again.

“Credit to Jack because he really pushed me hard – he could have been forgiven for giving up at 10-1,” McGill said. “It was a good job I had that lead in the end.”

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