The Rocket crash lands as just two top ten players make the last eight at the Crucible

Ronnie O'Sullivan loses to Barry Hawkins for the first time in 14 years as another top ten player drops out of the competition.

The Rocket crash lands as just two top ten players make the last eight at the Crucible
Two excellent players took the clash to a final frame decider (photo: Sky Sports)

Barry Hawkins and Ronnie O'Sullivan had promised a classic finale after a terrific display of snooker from both players in the opening two sessions and they certainly did not disappoint.

Hawkins "cannot believe it"

Hawkins led 9-7 going into Sunday evenings final session, but could not extend his advantage in the opening frame as O'Sullivan produced a break of 93 to narrow the gap. Hawkins responded with a tight eighteenth frame success, before the Rocket found his groove oncemore with a break of 70.

However, Hawkins was not willing to let his advantage slip and produced breaks of 54 and 94 to go within one frame of causing an upset. Yet snooker fans are aware of the quality O'Sullivan possesses and the world number six responded with three consecutive frames with breaks of 124, 88 and 63 to take the match to a final frame decider.

It was the world number eleven, who had not beaten O'Sullivan for fourteen years, who dealt the first blow, as a half century put him almost out of reach. O'Sullivan came back to the table and set about an improbable task, before potting the white midway through his break to as good as hand the last eight place to Hawkins. The Hawk duly accepted the gift and went on to complete a remarkable victory, continuously exclaiming that he "cannot believe it".

Higgins joins Selby as the only top ten player left

Leading 10-6 against Ricky Walden, John Higgins wasted little time in ensuring his last eight place. The world number eight began the session with a break of 59 against the man ranked one place below him.

Walden struck back with breaks of 62 and 84 to give himself half a chance, but Higgins rallied as contributions of 92 and 99 took him a step closer to a fifth World Championship crown. Higgins continues his quest against fellow Scot Alan McManus on Tuesday evening.

The quarter-final line-up reads as follows:
Ding Junhui (17) v Mark Williams (13)
Kyren Wilson (19) v Mark Selby (1)
Alan McManus (29) v John Higgins (8)
Marco Fu (14) v Barry Hawkins (11)