|Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 16 April-2 May|
|Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app|
Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins are level at 4-4 after a tense opening to their World Championship semi-final.
Inside an electric Crucible Theatre, four-time champion Higgins made two half-centuries on his way to establishing a 3-0 lead.
However, O’Sullivan, who is chasing a seventh world title, won four of the next five frames with breaks of 70 and 54 accompanied by two superb centuries.
Their match will resume on Friday at 14: 30 BST.
O’Sullivan, who is hoping to equal Stephen Hendry’s seven world titles, struggled to get going early on and his stuttering start was emphasised as his average shot time crept over 29 seconds in the first two frames.
And while both players appeared to feel the enormity of the occasion, making uncharacteristic mistakes, Scotland’s Higgins was able to forge ahead by mopping up O’Sullivan’s errors and enjoying the better of the tactical exchanges.
But at 3-0 down, the Englishman sparked into life with a 70 and suddenly found his rhythm, with a sublime break of 116 in the sixth frame to draw level, the highlight of the evening.
Higgins claimed a scrappy seventh frame after O’Sullivan left a long red over the left corner, with the Scot tidying up the colours but a break of 107 saw the ‘Class of 92’ rivals finish the opening session all square.
Dominant Trump takes charge
Earlier on Thursday, Judd Trump dominated a scrappy first session of his semi-final to claim a 7-1 lead over three-time champion Mark Williams.
Trump, who won the title in 2019, took a nervy opening frame that lasted more than 30 minutes and included a re-rack and went on to make two breaks of 70 before Williams responded by taking the final frame before the mid-session interval.
However, Trump made three more half-centuries to pull clear, with Williams’ difficulties mirroring the second session of his quarter-final victory over Yan Bingtao – which he lost 6-2 – where he suffered several concentration lapses and was punished for missing routine pots.
Even in the frames where Trump made sizable contributions, Williams was given chances to tick the scoreboard over himself but the 47-year-old particularly struggled with his long game.
It proved an ideal first session for Trump, who has won 18 of their 27 previous meetings and has now won 15 of his past 16 frames over two matches.
Trump and Williams resume on Friday at 10: 00, with the Welshman facing a huge uphill task to reach his fifth Crucible final from the best-of-33 encounter.
‘Williams is reeling’ – analysis
Six-time world champion Steve Davis on BBC Two:
If your opponent does not put up any resistance it makes the job lot easier. It is a shock that Mark Williams has gone off the boil. We expected him to continue his form.
It just shows you what happens in snooker if one player gets away from another. The other guy is reeling and has to wait for the session to end to mentally regroup. There is the possibility that roles can be reversed but it is unlikely.
1991 world champion John Parrott on BBC Two:
Judd Trump has done exactly what he needed to do. It has been highly functional and really good match-play. His opponent has been off it and he has kept the pressure on.
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