Barry Hawkins’ stunning fightback falls just short in Crucible quarters

Marco Fu withstood one of the Crucible's finest fightbacks to book his place in the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championships for the second time in his career on Wednesday.

Trailing 9-1 after losing the first two frames of the morning session, opponent Barry Hawkins launched a stunning recovery to move within one frame of levelling their last eight clash in Sheffield.

Hawkins, who had edged a nail-biting final frame win over Ronnie O'Sullivan in the previous round, won five frames in a row as he came back to 10-9 but Fu somehow held himself together to eventually edge over the line 13-11.

Barry Hawkins’ stunning fightback falls just short in Crucible quarters

The Hong Kong 38-year-old had seemed a certainty to reach the last four for the first time since 2006 after building on his 7-1 overnight advantage to move within four frames of victory.

But after Hawkins clawed back the deficit the decisive frames became increasingly pressure-filled affairs until a nerveless break of 74 from Fu in the 24th frame - in response to a 60 from Hawkins - saw him home.

Meanwhile, 45-year-old Alan McManus reached his first Crucible semi-final in 23 years after winning the last four frames of his clash with compatriot John Higgins to also triumph 13-11.

It was a remarkable performance from McManus, who stuck doggedly to Higgins throughout the match before producing some superb break-building in the final frames as four-times champion Higgins was first to wilt.

McManus will face Ding Junhui in the last four while Fu will take on world number one Mark Selby after the Leicester man secured his own passage with a comfortable 13-8 win over rising star Kyren Wilson.

The 2014 champion had resumed Wednesday's morning session with a commanding 10-6 overnight lead, and a pair of swift half-centuries set him on his way to victory.

Despite his defeat, Wilson believes he has the ability to one day return and win the world title.

He said at a press conference: "Without a doubt I will win this event in the future. I completely believe in myself and this hasn't dampened my confidence.

"I will have a bit of a rest and will be back working very, very hard to make sure next season is even better than this one."

Wilson had the consolation of a 143 clearance which looks set to land him the highest break prize, and he added: "I hope not (it won't be beaten) because my cue might be in pieces if it is.

"It was a nice break but at 12-6 down I'm sort of out of the match so it's a nice little consolation prize and hopefully it will stand."

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