It was quarter finals day in Guangzhou and this is what happened:
Both sessions saw a close match and a one-sided match.
John Higgins beat an out-of-sorts Ali Carter easily without playing particularly well himself. John was solid but in no way impressive. Ali failed to make a single break over 50 during the match, he had chances but didn’t take many.
Mark Allen beat Mark Selby in a deciding frame, a fitting conclusion for an excellent match. Allen was the better player overall, he made 3 centuries to lead 5-2, but Selby never gives up and he showed again why he’s World n°1: even not playing at his best he’s very hard to beat. Allen had a golden chance to close the match at 6-3 but missed a really simple pink and allowed Selby to come back to the table and make it 5-4. After which, a rejuvenated Selby scored his own century to force the decider:
2016 China Championship: Mark Selby – Mark Allen (final frame)
Shaun Murphy raced to a 5-0 lead over Marco Fu, having scored 6 breaks over 60 in 5 frames, including two centuries. Then somehow he lost his way a bit, allowing Marco to get two frames back. But that was it and Shaun duly took the next frame for an easy 6-2 win.
The match between Stuart Bingham and Michael Holt lasted over 4 hours and went to a deciding frame. Each player domimated in turn: Stuart raced to a 3-1 lead, then Michael dominated the next three to lead 4-3, Stuart replied well and won the next two, only for Michael to win a gruelling 48 minutes scrappy affair to force a deciding frame:
2016 China Championship: Stuart Bingham – Michael Holt (final frame)
Tomorrow the semi finals will be played over best of 17 frames. Mark Allen will face John Higgins and Shaun Murphy will play Stuart Bingham. I fancy Allen and Murphy to win. Allen because he has been playing really well whilst Higgins has been solid but no more than that; Murphy because he’s on form and will be a lot fresher than Bingham who had a very late finish today.