World Grand Prix semi-finals
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World Grand Prix Semi-Finals Preview

Neil Robertson is at the business end of another ranking event after reaching the World Grand Prix last four in Cheltenham on Friday afternoon.

The Australian hammered close pal Joe Perry 5-1 in the last eight to continue his hot streak of form.

Robertson triumphed in the European Masters towards the end of January before reaching the final of last week’s German Masters in Berlin.

The Melbourne man, who has risen to number two in the world rankings, remains on course for an 18th ranking title.

Robertson will meet Kyren Wilson in the second semi-final tie on Saturday after the latter edged John Higgins in a much tighter affair, 5-4.

Neither player has looked particularly good during this campaign but they are both masters of maximising their end product when on the baize.

Higgins, who earlier this term surpassed Stephen Hendry’s tally of career century breaks to move into second on the all-time list, has generally been scoring poorly of late and it showed again as he mustered a high break of just 56.

Wilson wasn’t potting them off the lampshades either and the Kettering cueist didn’t lead until the last frame, but the 28 year-old dug deep to seal his third deciding frame triumph of the tournament.

Somewhat strangely, Robertson and Wilson have only played each other once before in a ranking event, over five years ago at the 2014 UK Championship when the former prevailed wit a 6-5 scoreline.

Meanwhile, Graeme Dott and Tom Ford will compete in the first World Grand Prix last-four clash on Friday evening, having already emerged from the last eight yesterday.

Dott edged 2018 champion Ronnie O’Sullivan while Ford overcame Gary Wilson as both contenders reached the penultimate round of a ranking competition for the second time this term.

Indeed, it represents successive appearances for Dott, who came close to denying Judd Trump at the Tempodrom a week ago at the same stage.

For both the Scot and Ford, there is a huge opportunity to embark on a rare run to a big final, with £100,000 for winning this title up for grabs on Sunday.

Overall experience would suggest that Dott, twice a ranking event winner and a former world champion of course, would have the upper hand.

The pair’s head-to-head would support that theory with the 42 year-old boasting a 4-2 superior record over the Englishman – albeit the last time they crossed paths was way back in 2012.

The World Grand Prix is the first of three events in the Coral Series, with additional tournaments to follow in Southport and Llandudno.

The player who performs the best across the series will earn a £100,000 bonus.

Live coverage of the World Grand Prix continues on ITV4.

Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)

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