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World Snooker Championship 2018: Ding Junhui leads 12-4, John Higgins through

April 29, 2018
Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui reached the World Championship final in 2016
2018 World Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 21 April – 7 May
Coverage: Watch live across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

China’s Ding Junhui holds a 12-4 lead over Scotland’s Anthony McGill in the World Championship second round.

World number three Ding is the bookmakers’ favourite for the title after defending champion Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan went out.

He took an 8-0 lead in a sensational first session, but McGill took four frames to ensure they return on Monday.

World Snooker Championship 2018: Ding Junhui leads 12-4, John Higgins throughWorld Snooker Championship 2018: Ding Junhui leads 12-4, John Higgins through

Four-time winner John Higgins earlier completed a 13-1 thrashing of Jack Lisowski to reach the quarter-finals.

Englishman Lisowski avoided the ignominy of becoming only the second player to be whitewashed at the Crucible with an 81 break in the 11th frame.

Meanwhile, Judd Trump and Ricky Walden are locked together at 8-8.

Trump, finalist in 2011, started with a century, but Walden showed his qualities to leave the best-of-25 match finely poised. They play to a finish on Monday at 13:00 BST.

The winner of that match will face Higgins in the quarter-finals.

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Could this be the turning point of Trump v Walden?

Ding the man to beat?

Ding has long been tipped to claim snooker’s biggest tournament and is widely regarded as one of the best players never to triumph in Sheffield. He came closest two years ago, but was beaten in the final by Selby.

Since emerging as an 18-year-old winner of the China Open in 2005, he has won 13 ranking titles.

With a number of big-name players already out, this could be Ding’s best chance of triumphing at the Crucible.

He put down a marker against McGill with breaks of 102, 81, 126, 64, 75, 99 and 73 and outscored his opponent 806-86. McGill potted only 23 balls in the first session.

But McGill recovered in the second session with breaks of 52, 74 and 97 to make sure he did not lose the match with a session to spare.

Rare 146 break

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Higgins thrashes Lisowski 13-1 to reach quarters

Higgins made three centuries against Lisowski, including a magnificent 146 break – the highest of this year’s competition so far – in the 13th frame.

The Scot, who has reached the last eight in Sheffield for the 14th time, made only the fourth 146 break in the tournament’s history.

He took on a difficult red and did not get good position on the black, forcing him to take a long pink up into the yellow pocket in an otherwise flawless break.

Higgins’ wide margin of victory meant he progressed with a session to spare, so will have an extra day off before his quarter-final.

He said: “I felt for Jack a little bit. It is the worst feeling in the world and the worst venue in the world when you are really struggling. The harder you try, the worse it gets. I could see what he was going through.

“It was disappointed I did not get position on the black. People in the crowd were telling me to double it. I knew the high break prize was 145 so I went for the 146. £10,000 is a hell of a lot of money and if I manage to win it it would be great.”

Lisowski told BBC Sport: “It wasn’t embarrassing, it was more frustrating and disappointing. I felt like it could change. Little things were going against me the whole game.

“I kept thinking I could rattle off a few frames and if he starts missing and I got some, the comeback was possible but it did not happen.”

Asked if the whitewash was on his mind, Lisowski replied: “Yes it was. He took the first two frames today and I thought this could be it. It is a lesson to learn, I should not be thinking like that.”

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