Terry Griffiths, at one stage six frames down, beat Jamie Burnett on the final black of the nineteenth, and final, frame at The Crucible in Sheffield yesterday.
It took him seven hours 55 minutes and after potting the final ball he wrapped a consoling arm round Burnett, who was making his first appearance in the World Championship. Griffiths goes on to meet Steve Davis in a battle of ex-world champions while Burnett is left to wonder what went wrong.
"I have not lost my will to win but the rest of my game has been hopeless," the victor said.
Ahead 6-0 in yesterday's opening session Burnett, the world No 72, extended his lead yesterday to 8-3 and then 9-5.
Griffiths, with nothing to lose, steadily reeled in his opponent to send the contest into a deciding frame. When Burnett obtained 13 points in fouls after snookering Griffiths on the last two reds he brought the scores level at 46-46.
Burnett went on to clear up until he reached the final brown. He potted brown into the yellow pocket but he over-screwed the cue ball into the middle pocket. Griffiths came back to the table to mop up for an unexpected victory.
Jimmy White faces an uphill task tonight to stay in the championship and keep alive his hope of retaining his place among the world's top 16 players. White resumes 5-4 adrift of Scotland's Euan Henderson, the lowest ranked player in the final stages.
Although the 27-year-old Henderson, from Glenrothes, will be delighted to be ahead of the six-times Crucible runner-up, he knows the margin could have been greater.
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