Four established snooker names will contest the European Masters semi-finals on Saturday at the Stadthalle in Furth.
Friday’s last 16 contenders featured several players hoping to make a breakthrough, including two amateurs and a pair of young Chinese competitors.
But at the end of the day’s play, it was experience that ultimately prevailed with four proven ranking event winners powering through.
European Masters Semi-Finals
(Times in BST)
Kyren Wilson vs Ali Carter (1pm)
The first of the European Masters semi-finals will be an all-English affair between Kyren Wilson and Ali Carter.
Boasting eight ranking titles between them, they have plenty of experience at this stage of tournaments.
However, it’s two years since Wilson last etched his name onto a trophy and six since Carter was the last man standing.
Wilson beat Shaun Murphy and Si Jiahui on a hectic Friday, while Carter fought back from behind to deny David Grace in a decider before edging Wu Yize.
Both Wilson and Carter have fond memories of Furth as former winners of the Paul Hunter Classic.
Their head-to-head record is relatively even, with the Captain 7-5 in front but having lost their most recent two encounters.
The majority of their previous battles have occurred in the Championship League, though, with this meeting representing their first best-of-11 tie.
Barry Hawkins vs Mark Williams (7pm)
Barry Hawkins and Mark Williams undeniably produced the standout snooker to reach the European Masters semi-finals.
The latter lost just one frame across his two matches, hammering Zhou Yuelong with a whitewash display before overcoming fellow Welshman Jamie Jones 5-1 in the last eight.
Williams compiled breaks of 123, 103, 100, and six additional contributions above 50 as he coasted through to the last four.
Hawkins was in an equally strong scoring mood, knocking in four tons in his pair of triumphs over Robert Milkins and pre-tournament favourite Judd Trump.
The Englishman is hoping to land ranking event silverware for the first time since winning the 2017 World Grand Prix.
Williams, meanwhile, has moved one step closer to a trophy that would take his career total to an impressive 25.
With such long careers behind them, it’s unsurprising that this duo has crossed paths on a number of occasions in the past.
It’s Williams who possesses the upper hand with a 17-5 superiour head-to-head record from all their prior clashes.
Live coverage is on Eurosport and various other broadcasters.
Featured photo credit: WST