ANTHONY McGILL produced another impressive display on snooker’s biggest stage as he gave defending champion Mark Selby a good run for his money in the opening session of their second round clash.
The Scot, who many inside the game believe has the potential to reach the top 16 in the near future, did not let facing the world number one faze him as he stood tall and finished the session on level terms at 4-4.
And it was a fine start for McGill, who beat fellow Scot Stephen Maguire in the first round, as he won a scrappy opening frame before a break of 63 put him 2-0 up early on.
Selby, who like McGill needed a final frame decider to get through his first round match against Kurt Maflin, hit his stride during the third frame as breaks of 51 and 46 got him off the mark. Selby then levelled the scores at the mid-session interval with a break of 65.
Leicester’s Selby then took the lead for the first time after the restart with a break of 87 but McGill hit back with a run of 74 in frame six.
A break of 73 then helped McGill back into the lead in the next frame but Selby ensured he did not face a deficit going into the second session of the last 16 tie with a break of 54.
The day’s other second round encounter saw four-times world champion John Higgins earn himself a 5-3 lead against Ding Junhui.
During the past few months Higgins has returned to some of his best form winning the Welsh Open in convincing style earlier in the year.
And that return to form was evident throughout the start of his second round battle against China’s number one star. Higgins dominated from the start and deservedly took a 2-0 lead.
Ding, who is yet to win the World Championship, fought back in frame with with a sublime break of 135 but Higgins’ domination continued either side of the mid-session interval as he won the next three frames to go 5-1 up with breaks of 73, 46 and 64.
However there was to be a late twist as Ding fought himself back into the contest winning the final two frames with breaks of 67 and 94 which reduced his arrears to just two frames.
Day 6 of the 2015 World Championship also saw the conclusion of two first round matches.
Shaun Murphy, who won snooker’s greatest prize ten years ago, comfortably secured his place in the last 16 with a 10-3 win over Finland’s Robin Hull. Murphy will play Joe Perry in the next round.
And Judd Trump, one of the bookies favourites for the title, hit breaks of 74, 76 and 109 to wrap up a 10-6 win over Crucible debutant Stuart Carrington. Trump will meet Marco Fu for a place in the quarter-finals.
World Championship – Last 16 Draw
Mark SELBY vs Anthony McGILL
Joe PERRY vs Shaun MURPHY
Barry HAWKINS vs Mark ALLEN
Ali CARTER vs Neil ROBERTSON
Ding JUNHUI vs John HIGGINS
Marco FU vs Judd TRUMP
Graeme DOTT vs Stuart BINGHAM
Matthew STEVENS vs Ronnie O’SULLIVAN