Welshman Jamie Jones repeated history this afternoon after he produced a sensational comeback to knock Shaun Murphy out of the World Championship – just like he did six years ago.
The determined qualifier came back from 8-5 down to record a famous win against the world number five – one of the favourites for the title and the £425,000 top prize.
It is a repeat of what happened in 2012 when Jones stunned Murphy in the opening round, coming back from 7-5 down to clinch an 10-8 win in what was his first match at the famous Crucible Theatre.
And six years later Jones did it once again but in more dramatic fashion this time around as he produced the goods despite a nervy miss or two in the first deciding frame of the tournament so far.
Murphy, winner of this year’s Champion of Champions event, now joins fellow top seeds including wold number one Mark Selby and Hong Kong’s Marco Fu who have suffered a shock early exit in this year’s World Championship.
The defeat will hurt Murphy as he had the match for the taking after taking an 8-5 lead midway through the final session. But Jones fought back winning three frames in a row and then responded to going back behind again by forcing a decider with an impressive century break.
Murphy’s wait to be crowned world champion for a second time continues after he upset the odds to win it back in 2005.
Earlier today, Mark Allen booked his place in the last 16 after completing a 10-5 win over Crucible debutant Liam Highfield while former World Championship finalist Barry Hawkins made a bright start to taking a 5-3 lead against Stuart Carrington.
China’s Ding Junhui and Xiao Guodong started their opening round battle too this afternoon with Ding coming back from 2-0 to earn a 6-3 lead at the halfway stage.
Ding Junhui is hoping 2018 will be the year he can lift his first World Championship title. He became runner-up at the Crucible two years ago and lost in the semi-finals last year.