Walden semi-final
Main News, Ranking

Ricky Walden Fights Back for Semi-Final Spot

Ricky Walden reached a third semi-final of a resurgent season after edging Mark Williams 6-5 in the Players Championship on Wednesday.

The first quarter-final affair in Wolverhampton proved to be a dramatic affair, with Walden winning the last four frames to fight back from three behind and win in a decider.

Williams had looked dominant in the first half of the fixture, compiling century breaks of 107, 103, and 102 to move 5-2 in front.

But Walden scored well when given the opportunity as well, and the three-time former ranking event winner capitalised on some mistakes from his opponent near the end to advance.

The Englishman’s back problems in recent years have been well documented, an unfortunate situation that resulted in a collapse of form and ranking.

This season has seen a complete turnaround in his outlook and fortunes, however, and the 39 year-old is now in the running for a place back inside the top 16 in the world.

Walden will take on either Barry Hawkins or Yan Bingtao in the first Players Championship semi-final on Friday evening, with two further victories separating him from the £125,000 top prize.

Meanwhile, earlier on day three defending champion John Higgins contributed a hat-trick of tons in a 6-3 first-round defeat of Hossein Vafaei.

The Scot will entertain surprise package Jimmy Robertson in the quarter-finals after the latter thumped Luca Brecel with a comprehensive 6-1 scoreline.

The action continues on Thursday with a mouthwatering clash between World Grand Prix winner Ronnie O’Sullivan and Masters champion Neil Robertson scheduled for the evening session.

Players Championship Quarter-Finals

(Times in GMT)

Barry Hawkins vs Yan Bingtao
(Thursday, 1pm)
Ricky Walden 6-5 Mark Williams

Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Neil Robertson
(Thursday, 7pm)
John Higgins vs Jimmy Robertson
(Friday, 1pm)

Live coverage continues on ITV4 across Ireland and the UK, with other options around the world available.

Featured photo credit: WST

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.