Maguire stuns Xintong, reaches World Snooker Championship QFs


SHEFFIELD: The Scottish cueist Stephen Maguire pulled off an exceptional victory as he stunned better-ranked Chinese snooker player Zhao Xintong 13-9 to proceed into the last eight of the ongoing World Snooker Championship, here on Saturday.

In the second-round fixture, Maguire, ranked 31st blunted sixth-ranked Xintong by the scores of 13-9 in the Best of 25 to become the second player to book a quarter-final berth in the ongoing tournament.

The two cueists remained involved in a see-saw battle, right from the start with Maguire pulling ahead and Xintong levels. Both the players won three of the first six frames.

Maguire then took a decent lead 6-3 as he won the next three frames, including a century in the seventh.

Xintong then won a hard-fought 10th frame by the scores of 63-61 and reduced the margin to 6-4 only for Maguire to restore and then enhance his lead to a four-frame advantage of 8-4 after sealing the next two frames.

The next four frames again followed the same pattern as Xintong managed to cut the margin by a frame but Maguire claimed the next three to move 11-5.

In the morning session, Xintong managed to make an exceptional comeback as he won four out of the next five frames to reduce the gap to 12-9.

Whereas Maguire held his nerve calm and denied Xintong’s outstanding comeback by winning his 13th frame and securing an amazing victory.

Both the cueists scored two centuries each in an exciting see-saw battle. Xintong scored the best break of match 136, which came in the fifth frame.

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