James Cahill is five frames away from producing one of the biggest sporting shocks of all time by beating Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Crucible Theatre.
Cahill, the first amateur to play at the World Championship, leads O’Sullivan 5-4 at the halfway stage of their first round match.
World number one O’Sullivan looked out of sorts during the Monday afternoon session, while Cahill rarely looked in awe of his opponent, who is a legend of the sport and is chasing a sixth world crown.
Having fallen 1-0 behind, O’Sullivan led 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3, but Cahill responded on each occasion, and he edged the ninth frame to ensure he will have a narrow advantage when the match resumes on Tuesday morning.
John Higgins, hunting a fifth world title, is safely through to round two after beating Mark Davis 10-7, rattling in breaks of 100, 135 and 132 along the way.
And the 2005 winner Shaun Murphy has condemned Luo Honghao to the heaviest defeat in tournament history.
In winning 10-0, Murphy became just the second man to record a Crucible whitewash, while Luo’s 89 points were a record low.
Murphy next faces Neil Robertson, who won his first-round clash 10-1, and hopes he can make the most of his late-season form.
After the season I have had, never in my wildest dreams did I think I could come here and win 10-0, Murphy told World Snooker’s official website.
This has been the worst season of my life, I have been in a daze.
In a way I’m looking forward to this season being over, but while I’m here I’ll give it my best.