Mark Williams (Wal) leads Ali Carter (Eng) 3-2 while Judd Trump (Eng) is 4-3 up against John Higgins in the Snooker World Championship Quarter-Finals.
Kyren Wilson (Eng) and Mark Allen (NI) are tied 4-4 after their morning session at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield, while tournament favourite Ding Junhui entered the interval trailing Englishman Barry Hawkins 3-5. Both contests will reconvene at 7pm this evening.
Ding has lived in Sheffield for over 10 years, having moved to the city as a teenager. Matthew Hudson, a close friend and a snooker player himself, said that, despite his fame, Ding manages to stay grounded:
“He’s probably the different type of famous that you meet. He’s not the sort to look down on people.
“If you ever need to call him, wherever he is in the world he will ring you back as soon as he gets his phone, or finishes his match.
“He’ll help you with anything really,” he added.
Mr Hudson met Ding eight years ago, at the Star Snooker Academy in Pitsmoor, Sheffield.
A snooker fan outside the Crucible said: “I think Ding deserves it [the championship]. He’s come from China to live here, that’s a fair commitment. He’d be a good deserving winner.”
In the other early start, Kyren Wilson (Eng) and Mark Allen (NI) are tied at 4-4.
A fan who was in the theatre watching this contest said: “It’s pretty tense, it’s a close game. And I think everyone’s enjoying the snooker as it’s been a pretty tight game.”