Defending champion Stuart Bingham came from 4-2 down to deny Martin Gould a place in the last four of the Shanghai Masters today in China.
Gould had looked on course for a second successive appearance in a ranking event semi-final when he went within a frame of victory over the current world champion.
However, the Australian Open runner-up missed chances in each of the seventh and eighth frames to seal the win, especially in the latter when, clearly under the cosh, he failed to pot a simple yellow while on a clearance to clinch it.
Bingham, not at his best, capitalised as he made breaks of 43 and 60 in the decider to see off the challenge of his countryman and continue his strong defence of the title.
The 39 year-old will meet Judd Trump on Saturday after the four-time ranking event winner completed a safer passage through his quarter-final encounter with Mark Williams.
Williams in fact compiled the highest break of the match, a 104 in the fourth frame, but it was to be his only success in a game that Trump dominated with an array of small breaks.
The match-up between Bingham and Trump is an interesting one as it’s the first time the pair will have met following their epic contest at the same stage of the World Championship back in May.
On that occasion, Bingham denied the 2011 Crucible runner-up another shot at global glory in a classic deciding frame thriller that captured the imagination of every supporter – particularly Bingham’s emotions upon reaching a maiden final in Sheffield.
This clash is unlikely to carry the same weight of passion amid pressure but it’s still a high-profile meeting nonetheless, and one that both will be eager to prevail in.
On the other side of the draw, the player who Bingham beat to claim the 2014 Shanghai title, Mark Allen, remains on course to avenge that defeat after overcoming Mark Davis 5-1.
The Northern Irishman’s only half century break was an 88 in the fifth frame, which effectively put the match beyond Davis’ reach.
Allen is seeking his third ranking event success and first since the 2014 World Open, which he also collected in China, signalling that he actually is fond of playing in the Asian nation despite previous statements to the contrary.
The 29 year-old will play Kyren Wilson after the 23 year-old held his nerve to oust home favourite Ding Junhui in front of a partisan crowd at the Grand Stage.
In a long battle that ended past midnight local time, Wilson led the former champion 3-1 at the interval but was pegged back as the popular Chinese forced a decider.
Both players had chances where it seemed they would be the man to advance but in the end it was decided by a poor safety on the brown from Ding, with Wilson superbly clearing to the black to book his debut semi-final berth in a ranking event.
A very interesting last four line-up then and a weekend to look forward to as the Shanghai Masters draws to a conclusion with £85,000 up for grabs for the champion on Sunday.
Categories: Snooker News