Ronnie O’Sullivan (11/4 – World Snooker Outright) is locked in a ding-dong battle to reach the quarter-finals of the Betfred World Snooker Championship, while two of the other remaining three second-round matches are on a knife-edge heading into Sunday at the Crucible.
O’Sullivan, chasing his sixth world crown and his first since 2013, is level at 8-8 with China’s Ding Junhui and it has been a match of the highest quality, with three centuries and a further eight breaks of 50-plus made between them.
The contest will be brought to a conclusion on Sunday evening and the Rocket is the 1/2 favourite with Betfred to advance to his 19th quarter-final at the Crucible, while Ding is 13/8 to record just his sixth win against the Englishman in 22 attempts.
Another match locked at 8-8 is the clash between Barry Hawkins and Neil Robertson, where the quality has also been clear to see, with a combined four centuries and eight breaks of 50 or more recorded.
Both players finished late on Saturday night but they will be back to the grind on Sunday afternoon, resuming at 14:00, to find out who will be taking on seventh seed Mark Selby in the next round (Hawkins 13/8, Robertson 1/2 – Match Betting).
The other tight second-round clash is between Anthony McGill and Jamie Clarke, with the latter holding a narrow 8-7 advantage, but a big talking point came when the Welshman was leading 7-2 (McGill 8/13, Clarke 13/10 – Match Betting).
McGill, when at the table, was unhappy with his Welsh opponent for apparently standing in his line of sight while down on a shot and made his feelings known to both Clarke and official Jan Verhaas, who had to calm the situation down.
During the mid-session interval, Clarke tweeted “You want to dance, let’s dance”, but it was McGill who fought back well after this incident to leave himself just one frame behind going into Sunday’s evening session (20:00 start).
In the fourth and final second-round clash, Kyren Wilson has all-but booked his place in the quarter-finals for the fourth time in the past five years at the Crucible after opening up a commanding 11-5 against Martin Gould.
The duo will resume their match at 14:00 on Sunday and it would take a miraculous comeback from Gould to reach the last-eight stage of the tournament for the first time (Gould 66/1, Wilson 1/500 – Match Betting).