China Champoinship 2017 – Day 6 – Semi Finals

So tomorrow it will be Shaun Murphy v Luca Brecel for the title!

Here are the reports on Worldsnooker:

Shan Murphy 6-4 Ali Carter

Monday 21 Aug 2017 11:49AM

Shaun Murphy came from 4-2 down to beat Ali Carter 6-4 and reach the final of the Evergrande China Championship.

Carter looked in command at 4-2 up but made pivotal errors in the closing stages as Murphy won the last four frames.

World number eight Murphy is through to the 14th ranking event final of his career and will face Luca Brecel or Li Hang over 19 frames in Guangzhou on Tuesday, with the winner to bank £150,000.

Nottingham-based Murphy, age 35, will be aiming for the eighth ranking title of his career and second of 2017 having won the Gibraltar Open in March.

The first four frames today were shared, with Murphy’s 54 in the second the only break over 50. World number 13 Carter made a 52 in winning the fifth and dominated the next to lead 4-2.

Murphy made a 69 in frame seven as he reduced his deficit, then took a scrappy eighth to level at 4-4. He led 53-27 in the ninth then Carter had a chance to clear, but crucially over-cut the final brown to a baulk corner on 29. Murphy punished him by potting brown, blue and pink to take the lead for the first time.

In frame ten, Murphy missed a red to a top corner at 55-0, again giving his opponent a chance to clear up. Carter ran out of position on 32 with two reds left, then played a poor safety which proved his last shot as Murphy booked his final place.

“I have a terrible record against Ali, it’s a long time since I have beaten him,” said Murphy. “At 4-2 down I was just trying to hang on to his coat tails. Some of the safety play was very high quality but we both missed chances.

“Whoever gets through to the final will obviously be playing well. If it’s Li Hang it will be a massive thrill for the local audience, while Luca Brecel is going to be a phenomenal player. So whoever comes through I’ll have my hands full.

“We are all trying to win every week. It’s not about the money, it’s about who takes the trophy home because that’s what people remember. The opportunities to win one don’t come that often so when they do you have to take them.”

Carter said: “It was a rubbish performance all the way through, it was very scrappy. I was over-thinking everything and trying to make things too perfect, and then I started making silly mistakes. It’s a tough one to take, I had the chance to go 5-4 up but I played the green terribly and finished out of position on the brown. Then in the last frame I played a cannon on the last two reds and the white finished in a place where I couldn’t pot either of them. But that’s the game paying me back for not taking the chance earlier.”

Carter’s partner Stella is due to give birth in the next few weeks and he added: “I’m going to enjoy some time at home.”

Luca Brecel 6-5 Li Hang

Monday 21 Aug 2017 06:16PM

Luca Brecel made a superb break in the deciding frame to beat Li Hang 6-5 and reach the final of the Evergrande China Championship.

Belgium’s 22-year-old Brecel will take on Shaun Murphy over 19 frames on Tuesday for the £150,000 top prize. Even defeat would guarantee world number 27 Brecel his career biggest pay day of £75,000.

He will be playing in the second ranking event final of his career; the first coming at the 2016 German Masters when he lost to Martin Gould. Victory for Brecel would make him the first player from continental Europe to win a ranking title.

Brecel took the opening frame with a break of 81, and might have nicked the second after getting the snooker he needed on the blue, but he missed a long blue which allowed China’s Li to level. Brecel won frame three on the colours then dominated the fourth with a top break of 52 to lead 3-1 at the interval.

Li, who had never previously been beyond the last 16 of a ranking event, came from 40-0 down to win frame five then made a 60 in the next as he levelled at 3-3. Brecel regained the lead with a 107 but Li took a scrappy eighth frame then made an 86 in the next to lead for the first time at 5-4. Both players had chances in the tenth, Brecel eventually taking it with an excellent pot on the penultimate red which set him up to clear to the blue.

As the time ticked past midnight, Li had the first chance of the decider but could only make 7, and Brecel stepped in with a cool 75 to clinch the tie.

“At 5-4 down I felt as if I couldn’t win,” said Brecel, who knocked out Ronnie O’Sullivan on Sunday. “I was so relieved to win and I played a good last frame. It was a lot tougher than it was against Ronnie because’s Li’s safety was incredible. Every time I thought I was going to be two frames ahead he cleared up – I couldn’t shake him off. At 5-4 down it went scrappy and I just hoped to get to 5-5 and then I thought I would have the advantage because I have more experience and I haven’t lost a deciding frame this season.

“It would be a dream come true to win my first ranking title, especially as it would put me into the top 16 and maybe the Masters.”

To be honest, for what I saw neither match was actually high quality, which of course doesn’t mean it wasn’t interesting or gripping. I can’t make a prediction for tomorrow, except that both players being very attacking, I would be extremely surprised if it was a slow going affair.

Coming back to yesterday’s matches, and Ronnie’s defeat, I found articles on weibo about what Ronnie said to the media after the match. In short he refused to dwell on the mistakes and expressed the hope that the fans were able to enjoy the match, that’s what’s matters most to him, to be able to give the fans pleasure whilst enjoying himself as well. He also said that he is looking forward to meet the Chinese fans again soon, which gives me hope that, despite the need to qualify, he may enter some of the coming Chinese events.

7 thoughts on “China Champoinship 2017 – Day 6 – Semi Finals

  1. Well Luca just won the event, trashing Shaun Murphy by 10-5. Just shows how good he is. It’s not as if Ronnie had lost to a “stopper” who goes out next round. Luca is only 22, he’s one for the future.

    • Well, Luca has won the title, trashing Shaun Murphy, who is a triple cown winner and only 35, by 10-5, so, maybe, it isn’t such a disgrace after all to have lost in a decider after the guy had a massive fluke in the previous frame…

      • I think you misunderstand me Mon.
        Iwanted to tell that that was a very very big chance for the ranking event victory.
        No Higgins, no Selby, no Trump, no Robertson, no Fu, etc…

        Few months ago Ronnie loses couple of matches from well ahead but I thought the reason is the war between him and World Snooker.
        Now I think the age is the answer. It happened Hendry: started well, finished ugly.

      • I’m disappointed as well of course but only time will tell. And there is the issue with the cue as well. If Ronnie doesn’t trust his cue 100% anymore, that will affect his confidence. Maybe the new cue, when it comes will help.

  2. My guess is that Ronnie’s next event will be the International Championship. It’s possible he’ll play the English Open first (as he did play it last season), but its prize money is very low and I get the impression that he’ll be playing fewer events this season than last…

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