Noppon Saengkham
Main News, Ranking

Noppon Saengkham – ‘I will enjoy and keep smiling’

Noppon Saengkham caused yet another incredible upset this week with a 5-3 victory over Mark Williams in the World Grand Prix.

The affable player from Thailand had already beaten Mark Selby and Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Centaur in Cheltenham before knocking out last weekend’s Masters runner-up in the last eight on Thursday.

It means that, in reaching a fourth career semi-final in a ranking event, the 30 year-old has accounted for players with 14 world titles combined.

Saengkham was never behind in the contest, and after making breaks of 93, 79, and 56 to lead 4-3, he potted a brilliant pink and black combination at the end of the eighth frame to clinch his place in the last four.

“I’m very happy today, it’s a really big win with Mark Williams,” Noppon Saengkham told ITV Snooker.

“I tried to protect every ball, but his long-ball is so good. He pot every ball very good today.”

“That shot (pink in the last frame), I don’t know why I played it like that, because it was very tight for the pink and white.

“I don’t know why I shot it that way, but I did it well. It’s been a very good performance this week, and I’m so happy.

“I still can’t believe the form because the last few months I still wasn’t on the form, but now I’m here so I still can’t believe it.

“I’ve got three experiences in the semi-finals, so this time I will try my best. I think I have good experience now.

“I will enjoy and keep smiling, and I think this week is going to be my week.”

Saengkham will play Mark Allen in the first World Grand Prix on Friday evening after the Pistol outlasted Jack Lisowski in a marathon battle that went the distance.

This season’s in-form competitor disappointed Lisowski’s hometown supporters with a tense 5-4 defeat of the Englishman.

Allen will feature at the semi-final stage of a ranking event for the fifth time this campaign as he bids to claim a third piece of silverware during the 2022/23 term.

Meanwhile, earlier on day four the round of 16 matches were also completed.

Judd Trump’s confidence is soaring following his success in the Masters, and the 33 year-old duly thrashed Luca Brecel 4-0 with a flurry of sizable contributions.

Trump will meet Xiao Guodong in the last eight after the Chinese cueist overcame British Open champion Ryan Day with a 4-1 scoreline.

The other quarter-final tie will see a resurgent Shaun Murphy entertain Anthony McGill, with the pair having negotiated their respective fixtures with Kyren Wilson and Sam Craigie.

World Grand Prix Quarter-Final Draw

Mark Allen (1) vs Noppon Saengkham (28)
Friday, 7pm
Murphy/McGill vs Trump/Xiao
Saturday, 7pm

Shaun Murphy (14) vs Anthony McGill (27)
Friday, 1pm
Judd Trump (10) vs Xiao Guodong (18)
Friday, 1pm

Live coverage is available on ITV Sport, Eurosport, and other broadcasting services around the world.

Featured photo credit: WST

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