Judd Trump and Gary Wilson emerged from the first session of their Betfred World Championship semi-final all square at 4-4.
Masters champion Trump is aiming to secure a maiden world title this week, having been tipped as a contender to pick up the Crucible crown since his classic 2011 final with John Higgins. On that occasion Trump came up short in an 18-15 defeat. The Ace in the Pack hasn’t featured in a World Championship final since then and will be aiming to put that right by beating Wilson over the next three days.
World number 32 Wilson is competing in the one-table setup for the first time, having enjoyed a fairytale run so far. He booked his place at the Theatre of Dreams by coming through qualifying and is the fifth lowest ranked player ever to reach the World Championship semi-finals.
The former taxi driver from Wallsend won the longest frame in Crucible history to defeat Luca Brecel 10-9 in the opening round. He followed that up with a superb 13-10 victory against three-time World Champion Mark Selby and a 13-9 win over Ali Carter.
Trump had the first scoring opportunity of the game, but his run ended on 46. Wilson stepped in and compiled a break of 61, but broke down and allowed Trump to clear the colours and move 1-0 up.
Wilson then restored parity, before a sublime break of 140 saw him take to the front at 2-1. However, 10-time ranking event winner Trump responded swiftly with a break of 54 on his way to claiming the fourth frame and levelling at 2-2.
The pair continued to trade frames. With the score at 3-3 Trump missed a straightforward red to the middle and allowed Wilson to step in and move 4-3 ahead.
Trump then ensured that the first session ended level, composing a break of 54 on his way to making it 4-4. They will return tomorrow afternoon at 2:30pm to play the second session of the best of 33 encounter.