Defending champion Mark Selby lost the longest frame in Crucible history when he crashed the World Snooker Championship against China’s Yan Bingtao.
Selby came out the worst in an epic 22nd frame lasting 85 minutes and 22 seconds – comfortably eclipsing the previous mark of 79½ minutes set by Gary Wilson and Luca Brecel in 2019.
And a century later with no nerves, 22-year-old Yan pulled off a grueling 13-10 win and sent him into a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams.
Selby looked on the bright side, having entered the tournament after battling mental health issues for much of the season and pulling out of the previous two tournaments in Turkey and Gibraltar.
“I’m proud of myself,” Selby said. “After really struggling and not enjoying the game, I came into this tournament not really knowing what to expect.
“I felt like the better player for a lot of the game. I felt like my game was coming back a bit and I was enjoying it, so that’s positive for the future.
Yan had built a two-frame lead before their closing session and looked set to make a short case of the champion when he won the first two frames of the night to extend his lead to 11-7.
But Selby came back within a frame with back-to-back breaks of 86, 117 and 88, setting up the ultimately crucial 22nd frame which Yan eventually won after pressing black down the middle.
On a record-breaking day at the Crucible, Ronnie O’Sullivan previously set two new marks after securing the solitary frame he needed to claim a 13-4 victory over Mark Allen and advance to the last eight.
O’Sullivan’s 20th place in the quarter-finals eclipses the previous best he shared with Stephen Hendry, while his 71st career win also saw him mark the number of games won by a single player at the current venue .
As a general rule, O’Sullivan, who is now the favorite to equal the Scottish record seven Crucible crowns next week, repeated his usual assertion that he has no interest in most of the applause that keeps coming his way.
“It doesn’t mean anything to me,” O’Sullivan insisted. “These are not the types of statistics that I am proud of. The ones I’m proud of are the majors and that’s about it.
O’Sullivan had done all the hard work in the first two sessions of his game against Allen, making their Saturday comeback a formality.
But he insisted the relatively easy nature of his win belied an uphill battle to stay at the top of his game, citing the example of martial arts superstar Bruce Lee.
“It comes down to years of practice and years of dedication and trying to be the best version of yourself that you can be,” O’Sullivan added.
“If you look at Bruce Lee, he trained for many hours, not just mentally but physically. We are experts in different areas but I try to approach my sport in a way that is no different.
“It’s not easy – I really struggle with it, to be honest with you. Even when I crushed everyone in 2012, it wasn’t easy. It’s just about playing for fun, enjoying it and savoring every moment even when it’s not going so well.
If you look at Bruce Lee, he trained for many hours, not just mentally but physically. We are experts in different areas but I try to approach my sport in a way that is no different.
O’Sullivan will face Stephen Maguire in the quarter-finals after the 41-year-old Scot took advantage of a borrowed cue to resist a riposte from British champion Zhao Xintong.
Maguire resumed the final session of their game two frames from victory but lost four of the first five on Saturday before a 59 break saw him seal a 13-9 victory over the seventh seeded Chinese.
Neil Robertson fired back-to-back century breaks to level with Jack Lisowski late in the opener of their second-round match.
Lisowski had won four frames in a row to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead, but the Aussie dug deep to make it 4-4 before their restart on Sunday.
And a grueling opener between Judd Trump and Anthony McGill also ended, with each player scoring a century before McGill took the final day to keep the match in balance.
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