LONDON (Agencies): World number 14 Jack Lisowski survived an almighty scare to win a gripping final-frame decider with two-time finalist Ali Carter in the first round of the World Championship.
Lisowski was 5-4 ahead overnight but qualifier Carter, on his 18th Crucible appearance, led 6-5, 8-6 and 9-8. A nerveless break of 82 forced the first decider of this year’s event and a score of 60 helped Lisowski progress.
“I stayed strong mentally and managed to turn it around,” said Lisowski, 29. “It doesn’t get any closer but I managed to win so many close frames. I cleared up at 8-6 and to have won from there is great. “I’ve never won a tournament so why not make the World Championship the first one? It would be amazing.”
Northern Ireland’s world number 13 Mark Allen scored three centuries as he romped into a 7-2 lead over Chinese qualifier Lyu Haotian. A stunning break of 139 – matching Kyren Wilson’s Crucible high score – set him on the way to a 4-0 lead and, although Lyu improved, Allen’s potting power was too much for the 23-year-old as he moved to within three frames of victory after the first session.
In the afternoon session, world number nine Ding Junhui and 2015 champion Stuart Bingham resume their match with the Chinese superstar leading 5-4, while world number one Judd Trump takes on fellow Englishman Liam Highfield.
Allen’s encounter with Lyu plays to a finish on Tuesday evening, while Barry Hawkins, a five-time Crucible semi-finalist and the 2013 runner-up, faces qualifier Matthew Selt.