Quarter final day in Chengdu produced high drama,tension.some top drawer snooker and one very late finish as eight became four in the quest to claim the 2013 International Championship title.
At the start of the day the pick of the four matches appeared to be the clash between Mark Selby and Marco Fu and so it proved as these two served up a thriller.This was on of those matches that swung both ways with Selby getting off to the better start,establishing an early 2-0 lead before Fu turned it around to lead 3-2.
From here Selby won three in a row to move within one of victory at 5-3.It looked likely that that victory would come in the next but he failed to make the most of a couple of really good chances and a tricky snooker wasn't enough to see him over the line as ,Fu somehow found his way out of it at the third attempt to swing the momentum his way..Fu would go on to win that frame and never looked back as breaks of 84 & 112 secured the two he needed to reach the semi final.
His semi final opponent will be Joe Perry who produced the performance of the day in beating Ryan Day 6-1.It was Day who won the opening frame but Perry drew level at 1-1 before producing a break building exhibition,which included three centuries,to run away with the next five and march into tomorrows best of 17 semi final.
The other semi final will feature tournament favourite Ding Junhui after he came through a real battle with Peter Ebdon 6-3..Ding had started the stronger taking the opening two frames to lead 2-0 before two long frames were shared to make it 3-1 at the interval.The pace of the match seemed to be getting to Ding at this stage and perhaps he was there for the taking but Ebdon just couldn't produce the heavy scoring that had been the hallmark of his victory over Neil Robertson yesterday.Despite this he did pull one back to trail 3-2 but Ding reeled off two quick frames to stand on the verge of victory at .5-2.One certainty in this game though is that you seldom get victory handed to you against Peter Ebdon and he pulled one more back to trail 5-3 before one final push from Ding saw him past the finish line 6-3.
His opponent in Saturdays semi final will be Graeme Dott after the Scot brought to an end the fine recent run of Liang Wenbo.This one was a pretty even contest early on,with the score level at 2-2 at the interval.but the story of this one was that of too many chances been offered up by Liang and even though he did win one further frame it was the 2006 world champion who came through 6-3
In an all to rare occurrence these days the semi finals will played over two sessions and best of 17 with Fu v Perry taking place tomorrow and Ding playing Dott on Saturday.The main question though as we head for the weekend is can anyone stop Dings march to a third ranking title in a row?