Day 4 in Guangzhou saw both semi finals played over best of 17 format. Again we had two completely different matches.
John Higgins beat an out-of-sorts Mark Allen by 9-3. I didn’t see anything of that match, but posts on social media suggest that Allen didn’t play anywhere near the standard he had shown in the previous days and never put John Higgins under pressure.
The other semi final was something else. Both players were competing at the highest level. They made 14 breaks over 69, 7 each, including 4 centuries. They beat the tournament highest break twice, first Stuart with 141 in frame 3, then Shaun with 144 in frame 13. They really treated the fans with a fantastic match.
Day 5, the Final day, provided another great match:
John Higgins made the strongest start, winning the first three frames without make any break to speak of. Stuart replied to come back at 3-3, knocking in two centuries in the process (102, 112). John took the lead again and finished the first session 5-4 ahead.
The second session saw Stuart come back at 5-5 immediately. Then it went 6-6 and 7-7 … until a few mistakes crept in Stuart’s game and John Higgins pounced mercilessly: he scored 134, 100 and 101 breaks in the last three frames for victory.
This win earns John Higgins a place in the Champion of Champions next week. And, as a result from Marco Fu’s withdrawal, Joe Perry gets the last spot.