Ronnie O'Sullivan rallies into lead at Crucible in Sheffield
Last Updated: 27/04/15 7:17pm
Ronnie O'Sullivan rallied to take a 5-3 lead over Matthew Stevens in the second round of the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible on Saturday.
The five-time world champion fell two frames behind his Welsh opponent in the best of 25 contest before clinching five successive frames to move into the lead.
'The Rocket', 39, struck the first century of the match in the third, with runs of 63 and 61 putting him in front. Stevens cut the gap to two frames by taking the eighth and final frame of the first session.
In the other match in the evening session, Barry Hawkins overcame Mark Allen 13-11 to move into the last eight.
Allen started the final session 9-7 ahead and a break of 81 saw him pull three frames clear. Hawkins claimed the next with a run of 50 before a 113 break for Allen saw him edge closer to the finishing line at 11-8.
Hawkins, who was runner up to O'Sullivan in the 2013 final, found another gear and took the next five frames, including a break of 102, to book his place in the quarter-finals.
I hope I'm going to win the tournament. I believe I can
Earlier, four-time world champion John Higgins lost 13-9 to Ding Junhui then nominated his second-round conqueror as a "big, big danger" to all at this year's tournament. Higgins was 5-1 up at one stage but had no answer to Ding's late surge.
"I let him off the hook when I was 5-1 in front," Higgins said. "I missed a red and from then on he was clinical. He never let his head drop and he came back into it... and then played clinical, clinical stuff."
"He seems as if he's ready to tough it out. His all-round game, his safety play and everything was top notch as well. He's a big, big danger to win this tournament, I think."
Ding said: "I'm playing well, and keep scoring heavily, and won frames after he made 50 breaks. I hope I'm going to win the tournament. I believe I can... I have the form to win any tournament. I think I can play better."
Graeme Dott, the 2006 champion, bowed out following a 13-5 defeat by Stuart Bingham, meaning qualifier Anthony McGill, who knocked out defending champion Mark Selby, is the only Scot left in this year's tournament.
Neil Robertson - the choice of many shrewdies for glory on bank holiday Monday - took control of his match against Ali Carter, hitting two centuries to be 6-2 up at the end of the session.