Ding Junhui overturned a first session deficit to lead Judd Trump 9-7 heading into the concluding session of their last 16 tie at the Betfred World Championship.
Both players are chasing a maiden world title, having been heavily touted as contenders to be the Crucible’s next first time winner for several years. Trump was runner-up to John Higgins in 2011, while Ding lost out against Mark Selby in the 2016 final.
Masters champion Trump had held a 5-1 advantage during the opening session. However, Ding stayed in touch by taking the final two frames to trail 5-3 coming into today.
Ding won two on the bounce at the start of the session to restore parity at 5-5, before Trump edged in front once more thanks to a break of 90. World number ten Ding ensured he went into the mid-session level, as a break of 81 made it 6-6.
When they returned Ding took to the front for the first time in the match, compiling a break of 55 to go 7-6 up. Trump hit back with a contribution of 62 to draw level, but Ding claimed the last two frames of the session to lead 9-7. They will play to a conclusion from 7pm tomorrow.
On the other table former World Champions Stuart Bingham and John Higgins are locked together at 8-8 heading into their final session.
With the score at 4-4, 2015 Crucible king Bingham took the opening frame of the afternoon with a break of 70. However, four-time World Champion Higgins responded immediately with breaks of 79 and 74 to lead for the first time since the opening frame of the match at 6-5.
Bingham then embarked on an ambitious attempt at a maximum break. He potted the first 14 reds with blacks. However, he failed to convert the final red, which was glued to the baulk cushion, ending his run on 112.
They then traded frames, with Bingham making another century run of 106 to level at 7-7. Higgins took the 15th frame and had looked set to lead heading into the concluding session. However, the Scot missed the final green and Bingham stepped in to clear to the black and restore parity at 8-8.
They will play to a finish tomorrow at 7pm.