Yesterday saw all four QF played in Glasgow and today will see Neil Robertson take on John Higgins whilst Judd Trump will play Cao Yupeng. Cao is the surprise package in this one and he hasn’t done much in the recent years but those who have been following snooker for some time will remember how brilliant he was when he first appeared on the tour. He’s only 27… he still can fulfill these early promises. It should be interesting!
Here are the QF reports on Worldsnooker:
Neil Robertson came through a 5-4 victor after an enthralling and high quality clash with China’s world number 34 Xiao Guodong.
The Australian Triple Crown winner can secure an immediate return to the world’s top 16 if he were to lift the title this week. He dropped down to 20thin the rankings after an agonising 6-5 defeat against Mark Joyce at last week’s UK Championship.
Despite losing out by the narrowest of margins today, two-time ranking event finalist Xiao can reflect positively on his best run of the season so far.
The pair went blow for blow and there were no frames without a contribution of over fifty. The 2013 Shanghai Masters finalist got the opening frame on the board thanks to a cool and composed break of 63. Robertson responded, before Xiao regained the lead at 2-1.
Robertson then sprung into gear. Back to back breaks of 114 and 128 saw him take the lead for the first time at 3-2. However, he couldn’t shake off Xiao who restored parity.
Another century break of 118 saw Robertson move one from victory, but he was again pegged back. In the deciding frame the 35-year-old forced himself over the line with a brilliant run of 79. He will face either Ronnie O’Sullivan or John Higgins in the last four.
“Sometimes I was thinking to myself is this guy going to fade away or what? That is the standard of snooker these days,” said Robertson. “If I had lost that match it would have been a real head scratcher. I didn’t really do anything wrong at all, so I am over the moon with the result.
“The most important thing is that I am playing very well. If I keep this up, then I am bound to pick up a trophy or two before the end of the season.
“If I play Ronnie tomorrow the crowd will be against me. If I play John the crowd will be against me. It will just be an amazing occasion to face either player.”
Judd Trump surged past home favourite Stephen Maguire 5-2 and book his spot in the last four.
The Ace in the Pack has already claimed ranking silverware this season after defending his title at the European Masters in Belgium. Today he played the more assured snooker and top scored with a break of 102.
Trump said: “It was a tough game in the end. Even though it was only 5-2. I am very happy to have got over the line when I did.
“He lost his head early on so I was just trying to keep on and keep playing like I did and not make it too easy for him.”
John Higgins put on a spectacular display to demolish Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-0 and delight his home Glaswegian crowd at the Dafabet Scottish Open.
The pair form one of the most iconic rivalries in the sport, having faced each other on 65 occasions including World Championship and Masters finals. They’ve won 60 ranking titles between them and have tasted Triple Crown glory 27 times combined.
In 2016 Higgins won another blockbuster Scottish Open clash against O’Sullivan at the same stage. He came through a 5-2 winner during his run to the final, where he was denied the title by an inspired Marco Fu. The Scot prevailed again tonight, whitewashing O’Sullivan for the first time since the 1994 Grand Prix.
However, 29-time ranking winner Higgins had previously endured a torrid 2017/18 record against the Rocket, having lost all four of their meetings up to today, including a 6-0 loss at the Champion of Champions in Coventry.
The Wizard produced a spellbinding showing of break building power this evening, which included three consecutive century breaks. He compiled runs of 55, 109, 117 and 105 to move 4-0 ahead. O’Sullivan then led 60-0 in the fifth frame before a trademark clearance of 72 from Higgins saw him home.
The four-time World Champion now continues his quest to go one better than last year and etch his name on the Stephen Hendry trophy. He faces a semi-final meeting with Neil Robertson tomorrow night.
Higgins said: “I lost quite heavily the last couple of times I played Ronnie. I was really trying my hardest tonight in front of all my friends and family.
“It was a brilliant atmosphere when we came out with Deacon Blue playing and everything. Ronnie then came out and had a great support as well. It felt like a football match and these are special occasions to play in.
Afterwards O’Sullivan, who has remarkably won three ranking titles in the last two months, was keen to heap praise on his opponent.
The five-time World Champion said: “He is a class act and an amazing player. He has touch, power and skill. If you were going to build a snooker player, then you would build John.
“I’ve entered seven tournaments this season and if I had done well in one of then then I would have been happy. However, I’ve done well in four or five, so I have achieved more than I thought I would and it will be nice to get a break now.”
Cao Yupeng reached his second ranking semi-final of the campaign thanks to a 5-3 defeat of Ricky Walden
The 27-year-old from China, who made a 147 earlier this week, will now face the same man he met in the European Masters semi-finals earlier this season, Judd Trump.
Cao said: “I feel I’ve been cueing well and my long potting is good. It is about keeping my emotions under control and not letting any mistakes impact on my mindset.
“It will be my second semi-final of the season and I will face the same player. It will be a big occasion.”
It clearly wasn’t Ronnie’s night, he made unexpected mistakes early and was kept off the table by a brilliant opponent. And, of course, although Ronnie would never use that as an excuse, tiredness probably played a part. After making it to five finals in two months 1/2, 2 in China, 3 in UK and winning 3 of them, 1 in China, 2 in UK including a “Major”, it was always going to catch up with him at some point. Shame it had to be yesterday night as there wasn’t really a match for the fans … the ES pundits hit the nail on the head during the midsession.
here are the stats … pretty damning.
Videos of interest:
And the review:
and on a lighter note …
Ronnie made another tongue-in-cheek manifesto (shared on twitter by ES UK)
And visited the FC Celtic facilities with Desmond Kane (shared by ES UK on facebook)