Former champion Shaun Murphy was in trouble against Crucible newcomer Andrew Higginson this morning.
The opening session of their Betfred.com World Championship first-round match had been a disappointment yesterday, when 2005 winner Murphy scrapped his way to a 5-4 lead.
However, Higginson won three of the first four frames this morning to edge 7-6 in front at the mid-session interval.
The reward on offer to the winner was a second-round tussle with in-form Marco Fu.
Murphy looked out of touch and 31-year-old Widnes player Higginson took advantage, without playing particularly fluently himself.
Higginson had tried and failed to qualify for the World Championship 11 times before this year, when he defeated Michael Judge to secure his place in the main draw.
A break of 65 in the 11th frame – the second of the morning – was his highest of the match.
That fact could be taken as an indication of the low quality on show, as could Higginson’s 85% pot success rate.
However, the debutant needed only three frames to produce a major shock and that was his only objective.
Higginson won the first, second and fourth frames of the session, with Murphy pinching the third thanks to a break of 46.