MARK SELBY’s defence of the World Championship title is over after promising star Anthony McGill pulled off the finest win of his career to reach the quarter-finals.
Leading by four frames after an impressive morning session, McGill won the three more frames needed in style to knock out the defending champion in the second round encounter.
McGill, who is making his debut at the Crucible this year, will face either Shaun Murphy or Joe Perry in one of the last eight ties.
The world ranked 32 star was trending UK wide on Twitter following his stunning victory and it is fully deserved after a dominant display which has blown the top half of the draw wide open.
The performance showed plenty of determination, nerves of steel and fabulous long potting mixed with great break building throughout. It maybe too early to say what McGill can achieve in the future – long term or even short term – but victory tonight showed he is certainly one to watch out for.
Facing a player of Selby’s magnitude with a 10-6 lead, it was never going to be easy to get over the winning line – but McGill got off to the perfect start as a break of 68 put him 11-6 in front.
Selby’s defence was holding on by a thread but a break of 67 gave him little hope when he reduced the deficit to 11-7.
But like throughout the match McGill did not let a Selby frame get to him and a break of 87 put him on the verge of a memorable win.
As you would expect, Selby did not give in easily as breaks of 57 and 101 gave some hope for the possibility of an amazing comeback to happen..
But McGill completed the win in the 22nd frame with a break of 82 to seal a 13-9 win – a victory he is likely to never forget.
Defeat for Selby meant he was unable to become the first ever first time champion to successfully defend his title at the Crucible in the following year.
Elsewhere, Stuart Bingham is in pole position to join McGill in the last eight after taking a commanding 11-5 lead against 2006 winner Graeme Dott.
Leading 6-2 after this morning’s opening session, Bingham continued his dominance over the Scot with frame winning breaks of 81, 102, 58 and 45.
Bingham will look to get the two frames he needs when the pair resume for the final session on Saturday afternoon.
China’s number one star Ding Junhui turned around a two-frame deficit to take a 9-7 overnight lead against four-times world champion John Higgins.
Higgins looked to have regained control by taking a 7-5 lead after Ding’s encouraging start to the second session saw him level the match at 5-5 from 5-3 down.
But Ding won the final four frames with breaks of 66, 64, 92 and a 59 clearance put him just four frames away from the quarter-finals.
The remaining second round match which got underway saw Mark Allen earn a 5-3 lead against 2013 World Championship finalist Barry Hawkins. Allen, who has not reached the quarter-final stage in a World Championship since 2011, top scored with breaks of 65, 63 and 96.