Cheltenham Racecourse

Xiao Guodong into Last Four at Cheltenham Racecourse

Xiao Guodong denied Yuan Sijun a maiden ranking event semi-final appearance after edging a turgid World Grand Prix contest on Thursday at the Cheltenham Racecourse.

The pair of Chinese competitors failed to hit top form and only traded three breaks above 50 across the maximum nine frames they played.

Teenager Yuan appeared to possess the advantage for much of the contest but wasn’t able to move beyond the winning line when it mattered most.

Xiao duly utilised his experience in the last two frames to fight back from 4-3 down to edge his young housemate 5-4.

The 29 year-old will face Ali Carter in the semi-finals after the “Captain” powered past David Gilbert 5-1.

Gilbert had looked in impressive form earlier on day four at the Cheltenham Racecourse when a surge of power scoring left 2018 runner-up Ding Junhui stunned with a swift whitewash defeat in the last 16.

However, Gilbert couldn’t rediscover his fluency on the neighbouring table later in the day and, one century break aside, the recent German Masters finalist was never really in the running.

Carter’s only meaningful run came in the last frame when he scored a tally of 88 to confirm his place in the last four.

It marks the first time since the 2017 China Championship that the 39 year-old has reached the single table stage of a ranking event.

Meanwhile, the afternoon session had previously seen the second round matches in the World Grand Prix conclude.

World number one Mark Selby struggled passed Noppon Saengkham 4-2 to set up a mouthwatering clash with Masters champion Judd Trump.

Kyren Wilson, champion at the Tempodrom in Berlin on Sunday, hammered Stuart Bingham 4-0 to continue his hot streak of form.

The Kettering cueist will face Barry Hawkins on Friday before the semi-finals get under way later in the evening.

The World Grand Prix features the top 32 players on the one-year rankings list and is the first of three tournaments that makes up the inaugural Coral Cup series.

Live coverage from the Cheltenham Racecourse continues on ITV 4.

Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)

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