Stephen Maguire became the first player into the semi-finals of the Gdynia Open after a brace of 4-1 victories sealed his last four berth in Poland.
Maguire, who has performed very well in the PTC series since its introduction in 2010, winning twice alongside three runners-up spots, looked in good form as he produced two polished performances to see off Joe Perry and Jimmy White.
Indeed, in his first frame against the ‘Whirlwind’ the Glaswegian fired in an impressive total clearance of 141 to top the high break standings for the week so far.
It ended a good tournament for 50 year-old White, who had won four matches to reach the last eight and came from behind to beat Liang Wenbo of China 4-3 in the previous round.
Last night’s action ended with a pair of deciders and that very scoreline was the order of the day on Saturday as one match after another climaxed under nail-biting circumstances.
In the final last 32 round match held over from Friday, Ding Junhui scraped over the line against an out-of-sorts John Higgins, who had just last week so superbly won the Shanghai Masters.
Amazingly, though, six of the fourth round encounters ended with a player clinching victory by the odd frame.
After White had seen off Liang, another Chinese youngster got the better of Stuart Bingham while Rory McLeod came from 3-0 down to pip Jamie Burnett in the day’s biggest comeback.
Norway’s Kurt Maflin edged former world champion Graeme Dott 4-3, Michael Holt came from two back to overcome PTC kingpin Stephen Lee – aided by an excellent 140 that briefly topped the highest break standings – while Neil Robertson claimed his second decider in as many days with a tight triumph over Martin Gould.
In Ding Junhui’s second tough clash of the day, the Chinese Sensation easily outfought a poor Mark Selby 4-1 to seal a place among the final eight competitors.
Oddly, Maguire’s match with White was played today meaning he has one less tie than all the rest to play in order to lift the title tomorrow.
In actual fact, all the scheduling has been quite strange for this event as one or two matches from each round are either left over or held back – stagnating the overall fluidity of how a tournament usual operates.
One would think that, with one less game to play, Maguire will have a distinct advantage over his opponents during tomorrow’s final day. We shall see.
The full list of results can be viewed by clicking here.