Brecel completes greatest Crucible comeback to beat Si and reach final

Luca Brecel is into the World Snooker Championship final after beating Si Jiahui 17-15, remarkably winning 11 frames on the spin as he bounced back from a huge deficit.

The Belgian Bullet was nine frames behind at 14-5 down and his victory means he has completed the biggest comeback in the history of the Crucible.

It was a remarkable collapse from the 20-year-old, Si, who had appeared unruffled on his debut campaign at the Crucible, incredibly beating Shaun Murphy, Rob Milkins and Anthony McGill to reach the last four.

Brecel played brilliantly to make the monstrous comeback, but there was no doubt that Si felt the pressure of the occasion and lost the fine form he has been showing in Sheffield.

The 28-year-old form Belgium had never won a match at the Crucible before this year, but now has the chance to lift the trophy when he takes on either Mark Selby or Mark Allen in the final, played on Sunday and Monday.

Brecel may have claimed the opening frame of the match but it was Si who dominated the first two sessions, scoring brilliantly and punishing any mistakes made by the Belgian.

He ended Thursday’s first session 5-3 ahead and extended that lead at 11-5 by the end of his second stanza.

When Si won the first three frames of Friday’s session it looked all over, with an immense 14-5 lead, but then things began to turn around spectacularly.

The Bullet sprung into life with a century in the 20th frame and that was the first of nine won on the spin to level the match at 14-14.

The 24th frame appeared to be a big turning point as Si missed a simple green while trying to clear the colours and retake a five-frame lead.

There was an interval at 14-14, which Si will have been hoping would quell Brecel’s momentum, but it didn’t with the 20-year-old really struggling at this stage and the Belgian getting stronger.

Brecel moved 16-14 ahead and looked set to stroll over the line, but Si managed to stop the rot after losing 11 frames on the spin, keeping his hopes alive with a fine break of 91.

It was just brief respite, though, with Brecel getting over the line in the next – a typically nervy final frame – to complete an incredible win.

‘He must fancy winning now, because of his achievement in this match,’ said Jimmy White on Eurosport. ‘He’s produced the most amazing comeback.’

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