Ronnie O’Sullivan level with Stuart Bingham after first session of quarter-final

Ronnie O’Sullivan was locked at 4-4 with Stuart Bingham following the opening session of their best-of-25 frames World Championship quarter-final at the Crucible.

O’Sullivan, bidding for a record eighth world title, had looked out of sorts during the early exchanges following some wayward cueing as Bingham – who beat Jack Lisowski 13-11 on Monday night – took the first two frames with breaks of 55 and 75.

Bingham, world champion in 2015, was then set for a potential maximum chance in the next, but came up short of position off the seventh red, allowing O’Sullivan back to build a break of 66 which eventually proved enough to get a first frame on the board.

Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham took the last frame of the session to level the match again (Martin Rickett/PA)

At the start of the last frame before the mid-session interval, O’Sullivan sent what looked a routine black into the jaws of the bottom right pocket, leaving the table set for Bingham to produce a break of 90 and further cement his advantage.

‘The Rocket’ returned to hit a fine 116 break and reduce the deficit with his 206th century at the Crucible.

World number one O’Sullivan looked to have spurned a chance to level up after missing a red into the bottom left pocket when on a break of 43, but Bingham then failed to sink one into the middle, which allowed the world number one back to pinch the frame.

Both players continued to make unforced errors, with O’Sullivan banging his cue against the table after missing an early red.

However, another mistake from Bingham when attempting a long pot after running out of position gave O’Sullivan a chance to build what eventually proved a frame-winning break of 64 and – after Bingham had initially played on when needing four snookers – saw him move ahead in the match for the first time.

Bingham, though, made sure he would end on level terms with a break of 72 in the final frame to leave the match delicately poised when it resumes on Wednesday.

John Higgins
John Higgins produced a late rally to close the gap on his 18th quarter-final appearance (Martin Rickett/PA)

Meanwhile, John Higgins staged a late fightback to trail Kyren Wilson 5-3.

Wilson, runner-up to O’Sullivan in 2020, started in fine form with half-century breaks in each frame – including back-to-back runs of 95 and 93 – as he opened up a 4-0 lead by the mid-session interval.

Four-time former world champion Higgins – making his 18th quarter-final appearance after edging out Mark Allen in a thrilling last-frame decider on Monday evening – got a frame on the board after a fine clearance of 129.

Wilson, though, hit back straight away with a 121 break of his own before veteran Scot Higgins again dug in, pulling another frame back after a run of 73 and then a clearance of 102 left him just two behind heading into Wednesday.

Judd Trump faces a tense final session against Welshman Jak Jones on Wednesday after they finished level at 8-8 overnight.

Locked at 4-4 going into the evening, Trump fell two behind as Jones won a 55-minute 10th frame, but the five-time world semi-finalist recovered to make it 6-6 at the mid-session interval.

Trump had produced a break of 110 to take the day’s opening frame, yet Jones served early notice of his doggedness by reeling off three successive frames.

It took a brilliant double on the black to move Trump level after the morning’s action, and he just could not shake world number 44 Jones off.

David Gilbert
David Gilbert is chasing a second world semi-final appearance (Martin Rickett/PA)

Jones went back in front at 7-6 before a 68 break from Trump – his highest since frame two – levelled it up again, then Jones saved his best until last – a 117 break – after falling 8-7 behind.

On the other table, David Gilbert needs three more frames against fellow Crucible qualifier Stephen Maguire to reach his second world semi-final.

Gilbert, six frames clear after a dominant morning display that was highlighted by two century breaks, ended an entertaining second session 10-6 ahead.

Maguire reeled off three successive frames – highlighted by a break of 111 – after trailing 9-2, but Gilbert responded with a 130 total clearance before a 74 from Maguire in frame 16 kept his hopes alive.