Williams, Selby and Ding depart as a dramatic Snooker World Championship reaches the last eight
Neil Robertson is showing the best form of anyone (photo: Getty Images)

Williams, Selby and Ding depart as a dramatic Snooker World Championship reaches the last eight

Only one former world champion will make it to the semi-finals

chris-lincoln
Chris Lincoln

No less than four previous world champions saw their tournament hopes abruptly halted at the Crucible as qualifiers Gary Wilson and Ali Carter continued their pursuits of a maiden crown.

The duo will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday at the quarter-final stage, as will the only two previous champions left in the competition and the highest seeds remaining, Neil Robertson and John Higgins.

David Gilbert contests his first ever world championship quarter-final against Kyren Wilson, whilst seasoned Crucible campaigners Judd Trump and Stephen Maguire clash in the fourth last eight match.

David Gilbert vs Kyren Wilson

Meeting for the fourth time, Wilson is looking to continue his undefeated streak against the number 16 seed, including a German Masters victory earlier in the year.

Yet Gilbert comes into the match on the back of an impressive victory over last year's world champion, Mark Williams, albeit after the Welshman attended hospital between the sessions with chest pains.

At 5-3 down when the drama unfolded, Williams never truly recovered his stride, although he did peg the score back to 6-5 and 8-7.

The contest hinged on the 16th frame when Gilbert outscored Williams' 68 with a 69 before going on to win four of the next six frames, including a break of 139 in the 20th.

In contrast, Wilson had to recover from 6-1 behind against a rampant Barry Hawkins who scored four centuries in the opening session. Yet the man from Kettering fought gallantly to record five of his own, including a 125 and 132 in the final two frames.

John Higgins vs Neil Robertson

Despite meeting 14 times and both previously running out as winners at the Crucible, Higgins and Robertson have never played each other in the World Championship.

Four-time champion Higgins had to come through a cagey affair against Stuart Bingham where only three centuries were formulated, Higgins with a solitary 132.

The Scotsman found himself 4-1 behind but recovered to level the match at the end of the first session. 16 frames passed without anyone recording more than two successive frames and they were still locked together at 11-11. Yet Higgins blocked out the nerves to reach an astonishing 15th Crucible quarter-final.

Meanwhile, Australian Robertson continued his scintillating form against Shaun Murphy, cruising to a 13-6 victory. Robertson won six of the last seven frames, restricting the beleaguered Murphy to just one pot in the last three.

Gary Wilson vs Ali Carter

The two qualifiers will play in the third quarter-final, both depicting the grit and determination required to succeed at the Crucible.

Wilson got off to a flyer against former world number one and champion, Mark Selby before being pegged back into a slanging match that saw half century break after half century break. Yet the world number 32 rallied at 10-10, winning the final three frames with breaks of 86 and 92.

Carter also had to fight hard against Zhou Yuelong, progressing without recording a century. Zhou scored two in the first five frames but a dramatic 11th frame turned the contest towards the two-time finalist.

Carter required two snookers to draw level and did just that before Zhou went in-off on the respot. That moment caused Carter to accelerate with eight of the next eleven frames, including the final six of the contest.

Judd Trump vs Stephen Maguire

Two regular Crucible campaigners meet for the 25th time in the last decade but again for the first time in a World Championship match. Maguire won nine of the first ten meetings but the pendulum has since swung in the favour of Trump who has taken seven of the last eight, albeit losing the last fixture at the German Masters.

Trump came through an intriguing contest with Ding Junhui where the highest break was 103. After taking a 5-1 lead, he fell 9-7 behind but won the last six with breaks of 93, 79, 54 and that maiden century.

Yet Maguire took part in the contest of the round, a final frame decider with amateur James Cahill who saw off favourite Ronnie O'Sullivan in the opening round.

Maguire opened up 5-2 and 6-3 advantages with three centuries scored between the pair in the opening seven frames. However, Cahill showed his mental stability oncemore, continuing to claw his way back into the contest despite registering only two breaks of 70.

The close nature of the match was underpinned by three successive frames decided by less than 15 points but Maguire used his vastly superior experience to win three of the last four frames and secure an epic victory.

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