DEFENDING world champion Mark Selby has it all to do this evening (Friday) if he is to remain in the 2015 World Championship after Anthony McGill took a commanding 10-6 lead at the end of this morning’s session.
Selby’s hopes of becoming the first player to successfully defend his first World Championship title the following year at the Crucible appears to be in danger as Scotland’s McGill impressed again to earn a significant four frame advantage.
McGill, playing at the Crucible for the first time this year, just needs three more frames to knock Selby out of the competition. The pair resume battle for the concluding session of the second round match at 7pm.
With the match tied at 4-4 from Thursday’s opening session, McGill made the perfect start to proceedings as he came back from behind in the first two frames to go 6-4 ahead.
But just like on Thursday it took until the third frame for Selby to get going as a break of 120 reduced his deficit to 6-5 after McGill missed a black off its spot while hampered on a red.
However McGill re-established his two frame advantage ahead of the mid-session interval after a safety error on the final green from Selby allowed the eager Scot to clear.
McGill had a great scoring chance after the restart but a missed black from its spot proved costly as Selby cleared with a break of 83.
Leading 7-6 McGill, ranked 32 in the world, did not let the missed black from the previous frame get to him as a superb break of 125 – the highest of the match – put him 8-6 in front.
The pressure was beginning to show on the defending champion as a missed red on a break of 20 allowed McGill to get the points needed to clinch a three frame advantage.
And McGill extended his lead even further in the final frame of an intriguing session with a break of 54 after Selby missed another red early on.
As this BBC Match Stats screenshot shows, Selby has struggled with his long pot success throughout the match – currently standing as low as 40 per cent.
Meanwhile on Table Two, Stuart Bingham made a solid start to his second round tie against 2006 world champion Graeme Dott as he built a 6-2 lead.