The opening session of the Betfair World Snooker Championship 2013 final saw possibly the highest standard ever seen at this stage of the Crucible as both defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan and first-time finalist Barry Hawkins were both in scintillating and scored heavily in every frame.
O'Sullivan raced ahead with runs of 74 and 92, before Hawkins hit back with 88, 81 and a 50 to put the Rocket behind for the first time in this year's tournament at 3-2.
Even though they were both struggling with the pace of the table they continued to knock in the breaks with the four-times world champion making further runs of 76, 113 and a 100 to finish the session 5-3.
When they resumed this evening it was a much lower standard as the first four frames were shared before Australian Open champion Hawkins finding his feet and making a break of 83 followed by his highest ever break at the Crucible, a 133, to level the match at 7-7.
37-year-old O'Sullivan responded in a typical style as he made a run of 103, his 128th Crucible century, to take him above Stephen Hendry in the all-time list of most tons made at the world famous venue. This followed another century of 106, his fourth of the match, before winning the 17th on the black to take a 10-7 lead overnight.
Hawkins has showed that he is more than capable of making big breaks when it counts, all he has to do now is to cut out the unforced safety errors and keep piling the pressure on O'Sullivan. He still has plenty of time to hit back in the match as it's the first to 18 frames who lifts the famous trophy. Play resumes at 2.30PM(GMT) tomorrow.
Today's Betfair World Snooker Championship report was sponsored by PJN SPORTS, the UK's number 1 supplier for snooker and pool equipment. Visit them at www.pjnsports.co.uk for all the latest deals and offers.