ANTHONY McGill was a relieved man after surviving a scare to keep his bid for a maiden World Championship alive.

No player has ever before surrendered a nine-frame lead at the Crucible.

But former semi-finalist McGill saw his 10-1 advantage whittled down to 11-8 before the Scot stood up under intense pressure to win the final two frames to get over the line with a fine 13-8 win.

The Glasgow Gladiator will lock horns with Chinese debutant qualifier Si Jiahui in his fourth Crucible quarter-final appearance today.

“It was a sweat in the end. It was nervy,” admitted pleased McGill.

“13 was the target and I got there and that’s all that matters.

“You can’t just collapse at the first sign of something going wrong.

“I didn’t think I’d won at 10-1 up. I went on a run to go so far ahead and then he went on a run back at me. That’s what happens in these long matches.

“I had a similar thing a couple of years ago, I’ve had it before here and you don’t want to let that keep happening.

“You’re not going to go through best-of-19 and best-of-25s and just fly.

“You’re going to face adversity and I think I did all right.

“I have to give Jack a lot of credit because he played great. He’s not regarded as a great safety player, but I thought his safety was fantastic.

“From 10-1 I don’t think I did a hell of a lot wrong. It wasn’t that I had chances in every frame and messed it up.”

Lisowski flew back with breaks of 119, 97 and 74, but McGill held firm with a visit of 58.

John Higgins branded the quarter-final schedule as “pathetic” after getting the short draw of the “graveyard shift” this year.

Higgins will do battle with Mark Selby, who beat Gary Wilson 13-7, in a clash of four-time world champions.

They start this afternoon, but tomorrow will have to play in the afternoon and the evening — with the prospect of only having a short break between sessions.

“It’s a graveyard shift and it’s a long, long day to try and get through to one of the biggest matches of the year,” groaned the all-conquering Scot. “There’s no need for it to be back-to-back, it’s poor. It’s pathetic really.

“Why are you out there playing for like 10 hours? It doesn’t need to be that way because there’s two tables and the three other quarter-finals which get a break.

“They need to have a serious think about the sessions. There needs to be some dialogue between the players and the people running the game.

And second seed Selby said: “John’s struggling isn’t he? Losing five frames all week! I don’t understand the reasoning why the schedule is like that.

“The middle session we play could easily be the morning and have the morning and evening split like every other round.”

Surprise package Jiahui ensured there are two debutants in the quarter-finals for the first time in 35 years after beating Rob Milkins 13-7.

The 20-year-old, who won three qualifiers to reach the Crucible, joined Jak Jones in the last eight after his impressive victory.