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Neil Robertson fights back against Jack Lisowski in crunch clash at Crucible

Neil Robertson, the pre-tournament favourite, kept himself in contention (Isaac Parkin/PA)
Neil Robertson, the pre-tournament favourite, kept himself in contention (Isaac Parkin/PA)

Neil Robertson continued to fight back against Jack Lisowski as he reduced the deficit to 9-7 in their World Snooker Championship clash at the Crucible.

Australian Robertson, champion in 2010, had dug deep earlier in the contest to haul himself level at 4-4 following Saturday’s opening session of their second-round match.

Lisowski, though, soon re-established a two-frame lead on Sunday following century breaks of 119 and 122 before leading 7-5 at the interval.

Robertson, the pre-tournament favourite, then kept himself in touch with a break of 54 only for ‘Jackpot’ Lisowski to hit a fine 137 clearance which was followed by a 74 to lead 9-6.

However, Robertson responded again with a break of 69 to leave the match poised heading into Monday’s finish.

On the other table, Judd Trump won six of the eight frames as he opened up a 10-6 lead over Anthony McGill.

Judd Trump
Judd Trump looked to take control of his match at the Crucible (Isaac Parkin/PA)

The match resumed at 4-4, with Trump, the 2019 world champion, making a break of 52 and then 79 in the penultimate frame to help establish a defendable advantage heading into the concluding session on Monday evening.

In Sunday’s other matches, fifth seed Kyren Wilson produced a thrilling fightback during the evening session, just missing out on a 147 chance in the final frame, to level at 8-8 against Stuart Bingham.

Earlier, 2015 champion Bingham had built a 5-3 lead over Wilson, the 2020 finalist, with breaks of 75, 54 and 57.

Bingham further extended his advantage with breaks of 78 and then 104 in the 13th frame as he pushed 8-5 ahead.

Wilson, though, started his recovery when coming from behind with a half-century run in the next and also took frame 15 after a break of 59.

The late-night Crucible crowd then looked set to witness a first maximum in the final frame as Wilson rolled in 12 reds and blacks – but then overcut the next red into the far pocket to finish his break at 96.

John Higgins (right) in action against Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham at the Crucible
John Higgins (right) took control of his match against Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham during Sunday’s evening session at the Crucible (Zac Goodwin/PA)

On the other table, veteran John Higgins produced a vintage display to open up an 11-5 overnight lead against Noppon Saengkham.

Resuming at 4-4 following Sunday’s earlier session, it was one-way traffic as Higgins, a four-time winner at the Crucible, took control with a run of seven frames including breaks of 125 and 100.

Thailand’s Saengkham eventually stopped the rot with a break of 64 to claim the final frame of the evening session.

Higgins, though, will be expected to finish the job and book his place in the quarter-final when the match resumes on Monday afternoon.