Barry Hawkins made four centuries as he built a 6-2 lead over Kyren Wilson in the first session of their last 16 match at the Betfred World Championship.
Hawkins has a tendency to produce his best snooker at the Crucible – he has won more matches than any other player in Sheffield over the past six years. And once again the 40-year-old Londoner has raised his game on the big stage.
After getting the better of a scrappy opening frame, world number nine Hawkins had a chance of a 147 in the second, but missed the black on 105 with just one red left. Breaks of 82 and 130 put him 4-0 up at the interval.
Wilson replied with a 111 in the fifth but couldn’t contain his opponent as Hawkins knocked in 136 and 137 to lead 6-1. Only once before in Crucible history have two players made four centuries in a row between them; that was during the 1999 semi-final between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Stephen Hendry.
The record for the most centuries made by one player in a match at the Crucible is seven, set by Ding Junhui when he beat Alan McManus in the semi-finals in 2016. Mark Selby made six tons in a second round match against Stephen Hendry in 2011.
Wilson took the last frame of the session to trail by four. They resume for eight more frames on Sunday at 7pm. First to 13 goes through to the quarter-finals to face David Gilbert.
On the other table Zhou Yuelong earned a 5-3 advantage against Ali Carter in their first session.
The winner will face Gary Wilson in the last eight, meaning that a qualifier is guaranteed to reach the one-table setup.
It was China’s talented 21-year-old Zhou who imposed himself on the tie in the early stages. He took the opener with a contribution of 67. Carter levelled by taking a 58-minute second frame, but breaks of 106, 105 and 64 helped Zhou into a 5-1 advantage.
Two-time Crucible finalist Carter claimed the final two frames of the session with breaks of 62 and 60 to end just two behind at 5-3.