semi-finals UK Championship
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UK Championship Semi-Finals Draw and Preview

Two of the favourites and a pair of outsiders are in with a shot of capturing the £200,000 top prize this weekend.

Judd Trump and Neil Robertson remain on a collision course after reaching the UK Championship semi-finals on Friday in Milton Keynes.

Boasting arguably the most competitive rivalry of any over the course of the last couple of seasons, the Englishman and the Australian could clash in Sunday’s final if they can overcome their penultimate hurdles on Saturday.

Chinese duo Lu Ning and Zhou Yuelong respectively stand in the way of what would be a heavyweight battle for the 2020 UK crown.

Lu continued his remarkable run with a 6-4 defeat of Joe Perry in the last eight, which ended the latter’s hopes of sealing a late slot into next month’s prestigious Masters.

Zhou kept his aspirations of a trip to London in January alive, not to mention the prospect of claiming a maiden ranking title, with a similarly close success over Jack Lisowski.

The last time Zhou came near to winning a ranking event was in January, when he reached the final of the European Masters only to be humiliated in the midst of a 9-0 whitewash reverse against Robertson.

As luck would have it, it’s the Melbourne man who the 22 year-old faces again on Saturday as he attempts to get another crack at etching his name onto some silverware.

Robertson has only ever lost a single frame to Zhou from their prior battles, and after ousting Mark Selby in the quarter-finals the 38 year-old is just two further wins away from a third career UK title.

Trump, meanwhile, encounters Lu after fending off familiar foe Kyren Wilson with another 6-4 victory.

The world number one will be an enormous favourite against the world number 40 as he chases a fourth ranking event final appearance in succession this season.

Trump has only played underdog Lu once before, winning a first-round tie at the 2018 International Championship.

It will be interesting to see how Lu, a former world under-21 champion, handles the pressure as the 26 year-old participates in the biggest match of his professional career.

Funnily enough, triumphs for the Chinese pair would set up a repeat of that World Under-21 Championship clash from 2013, when then amateur Lu prevailed over Zhou with a 9-4 result in Beijing.

However, logic suggests that marquee figures Trump and Robertson will be the ones to continue on in the tournament.

If they do, it’ll represent the fourth time in just over a year that they will compete against each other with a trophy on the line.

Live coverage of the 2020 UK Championship is on the BBC, Eurosport, and via various other global services.

Semi-Finals in the UK Championship

Zhou Yuelong vs Neil Robertson (1pm)

Judd Trump vs Lu Ning (7pm)

Click here to view the full draw

Featured photo credit: WST

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