The Turkish Masters semi-finals take place on Saturday with just two wins now required to land the £100,000 top prize in Antalya.
A busy day on Friday saw two rounds completed and the field whittled down from 16 to the final four.
There was plenty of drama with several matches going down to the wire, but the result is a lineup of high quality at the Nirvana Cosmopolitan Hotel.
Turkish Masters Semi-Finals
Matthew Selt vs Ding Junhui
Saturday, 11:30am (GMT)
A resurgent Ding Junhui has reached his first semi-final of the 2021/22 snooker season with a string of terrific displays.
The former world number one has watched from the sidelines recently as his young countrymen have begun to tally more titles.
A nightmare period of form has seen the 34 year-old plummet all the way down to no.32 on the official world rankings list.
Indeed, this is the first time that Ding will be making an appearance in the last four of a ranking event since he won the 2019 UK Championship.
But the signs this week have been very positive, with the Chinese star looking a shadow of the demoralised self that was so typically portrayed in the last couple of campaigns.
Ding is playing noticeably quicker and his scoring prowess seems to have benefited, with seven centuries to his name this week and nine overall for the tournament.
After conjuring a hat-trick of come-from-behind victories to reach the last eight, the 14-time ranking event winner easily ousted Graeme Dott to reach the Turkish Masters semi-finals.
In the penultimate round Ding will face Matthew Selt, who outplayed Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Martin Gould on Friday.
Selt is the obvious underdog of the remaining quartet, but you can available of these free bets if you think he has what it takes to go all the way.
The 37 year-old has been scoring well, but the former Indian Open champion has lost the last three matches he’s played against Ding in all competitions, however.
Shaun Murphy vs Judd Trump
Saturday, 5pm (GMT)
The second encounter later on Saturday sees two of the game’s heavyweights do battle after each survived tricky ties on day five.
Judd Trump, hoping to respond to his somewhat shock defeat to Joe Perry in last week’s Welsh Open final, fought back from 4-3 down to deny Zhou Yuelong in a last-16 decider.
The Englishman subsequently won the last two frames to draw clear from Ali Carter and record a 5-3 victory over the Captain.
Shaun Murphy also needed all but one frame to negotiate his couple of challenges, first beating Jak Jones 5-3 before a thriller with Oliver Lines concluded on the final black.
Like Ding, it’s a first semi-final appearance of the season for Murphy following a poor run of form.
The Magician beat Trump en route to reaching last year’s World Championship final, but since then he has failed to impress on the circuit at all.
Murphy has, in fact, won his last three encounters with Trump, but the latter boasts a healthy head-to-head advantage from their prior contests in total.
By reaching the last four, meanwhile, Trump has made a late dash into the top eight on the one-year rankings – a position that could see him land a Tour Championship spot later this month.
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Featured photo credit: WST