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European Masters: Semi-Finals Draw, Preview, Schedule

The last four of the European Masters takes place on Saturday at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.

Aside from one of the remaining contenders, it’s certainly not the last-four lineup that was expected at the start of this week.

But a pair of Chinese competitors will face two former world champions, with the £80,000 top prize now within reach.

Graeme Dott vs Fan Zhengyi (Sat, 1pm)

Fan Zhengyi continued his incredible run in this tournament with a 5-3 triumph over David Gilbert in the quarter-finals on Friday.

The 21 year-old had already dispatched of Kyren Wilson and Yan Bingtao, and it’s beginning to turn into a breakthrough moment for yet another emerging star from China.

Fan, ranked 80 in the world, almost let slip a 4-0 lead against Gilbert but eventually scrambled over the line after a tense finale.

After reaching a maiden ranking event quarter-final at the German Masters last month, he’s substantiated his newfound form with an even better display this time around.

Graeme Dott represents another formidable challenge, the Scot having edged Ryan Day in a decider to reach this stage of a ranking tournament for the first time in two years.

The 2006 world champion had slipped down the rankings recently so his performances in the last few days have eased the pressure on that front.

Dott and Fan have only faced each other on one previous occasion, and it was over the same best of eleven frames when the former won 6-2 at the 2019 International Championship.

Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Liang Wenbo (Sat, 7pm)

After so many of his main rivals bowed out in the early rounds, Ronnie O’Sullivan has been the undeniable favourite for glory and a 39th ranking crown.

The Rocket compiled two centuries and a brace of important frame-winning clearances to comfortably overcome Tom Ford with a 5-1 scoreline in the last eight.

In the second of the European Masters semi-finals on Saturday, the World Grand Prix champion faces friend Liang Wenbo.

The latter lost the scoring power he managed to produce during the first half of the week but battled strongly to pip Anthony McGill in a 5-4 thriller.

It’s the former English Open champion’s third semi-final appearance of 2022 already, matching his previous runs in the Shoot Out and the Championship League.

Liang has only beaten O’Sullivan once way back in 2013, but a lot of their clashes have been close and gone the distance

Indeed, the outcome has frequently been determined as a result of Liang’s inability to hold his nerve, so it’ll be interesting to see how he handles things this time.

Live coverage is available across Europe on Eurosport, with other options available around the world by clicking here.

Featured photo credit: WST

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