SHAUN Murphy fought off a close encounter against Graeme Dott to book his place in the World Championship quarter-finals.
And Welshman Michael White’s brilliant Crucible debut continued after he thrashed Dechawat Poomjaeng 13 -3 earlier in the day to make his first ever appearance in a major ranking event quarter-final.
Murphy, who was crowned world champion in 2005, was forced to battle his way into the last eight up against a determined Dott in a match lasting more than eight hours.
Going all square at 8-8 at the start of the final session, Murphy won the first frame before Dott took the next two to go ahead at 10-9.
A 64 break from Murphy then levelled matters again before the turning point of the match came when Dott messed up the ‘break off’ shot on a crucial re-spotted black. Dott made a poor contact with the black leaving it on for Murphy who made no mistake to go 11-10 up.
The Sale star then went closer to victory with a run of 53 before Dott stayed in the match winning a scrappy 23rd frame. But it was to be Murphy’s night when a stunning long red set up a match-winning break of 49 secured him a 13-11 win.
The win kept alive Murphy’s ambition to end a 19-month run without winning a ranking event. He will face either Judd Trump or Marco Fu in the next round with the match starting on Tuesday.
And Michael White’s impressive form continued as he followed up his 7-1 advantage from Thursday evening by clinching victory with a session to spare.
Elsewhere on Day 7, world number one Mark Selby had the better of the first two sessions against Barry Hawkins to take an overnight lead of 9-7. The match comes to a conclusion on Saturday afternoon.
And Judd Trump continued his good form in the tournament as he dominated his opening session against Hong Kong’s Marco Fu.
A top break of 127 and a display of his typical fluent and fast snooker helped him close the session 6-2 up against this season’s German Masters finalist. The match resumes on Saturday morning.