Judd Trumps dreams of winning a first world title are still alive,but only just after he fell over the line to beat Chris Wakelin 10-9 in as dramatic a late night finish as we will ever see.
It had all looked to be going so well for Trump when he extended his overnight lead to 8-4,but back came Wakelin to level it at 8-8 and it was now game on.
Trump has a recent history of been vulnerable when an opponent fights back against him,but he held his nerve to lead again 9-8.
Wakelin looked to be in to level in the next,but a miss allowed Trump the chance to counter.All seemed to be going well until a poor positional shot on the brown,led to finishing the wrong side of the blue,which led to a long pink and finally a tricky black to the centre which he missed & Wakelin potted it to force the decider 9-9.
Into a decider then and after all that had gone before in the it was never going to be a clean kill.Both player now punch drunk from the previous two hours drama both had chances,but a simple missed red from Trump looked to have presented Wakelin with a clear chance for victory.
Trump slumped in his chair could hardly look,but Wakelin somehow managed to go in off the pink and Trump was back with a chance for redemption.There was to be one more twist though as he failed to get position on match ball green to leave Wakelin just about alive. Unfortunately for him an attempted double on the green knocked in the black to leave him needing a snooker and another foul on his next visit left needing two.
He did manage to get one snooker back,but he never got near another one &Trump eventually potted brown & blue to seal the 10-9 win.
Mighty relieve for him then ,that he hasn't exited in the first round for a second year in a row & who knows maybe this night fortnight we will be hailing him as our new world champion,but he'll certainly have to play better than this to do it.
Up to that thriller it had looked as though the main story of the day was going to be the magnificent performance from Anthony McGill,who produced a stunning comeback from the dead to edge out Ryan Day 10-8.
Day had held a 6-3 lead overnight,but although the first four were shared this afternoon to move the score along to 8-5,there were just the signs that Day wasn't in the same touch he has shown in his recent tournament victories & maybe McGill sensed that as well when they resumed as he slowly started to fight back.
Fight back is exactly what h did as he amazingly took the next five frames to seal a 10-8 victory.
In the second round matches that started today Mark Allen leads Joe Perry 5-3 & Lyu Haotain will be delighted to be only 5-3 down to Barry Hawkins having trailed at one stage 4-0.