Quarter finals round up
Ding Junhui remains on course for his fifth ranking title of the season,but only after surviving a real scare against 19 year old Joel Walker.
The early stages of this oneshowed little of what drama was to come,as Ding lead 2-1 before a superb clearance from the last red drew Walker level at 2-2 going the interval.This was Walkers first match in front of the tv cameras,but he certainly wasn't showing any nerves as he came to win the next two frames with breaks of 74 & 101 to move into a 4-2 lead,one away from what would have been the shock of the season.
Ding was looking under real pressure now,but a couple of good scoring chances in the seventh for Walker went begging and Ding won it to close to 4-3 ,before showing his class,winning the next two with breaks of 139 & 104 to seal the win 5-4.
Walker will no doubt look back at the seventh frame as the turning point in this one.but he can be proud of a great week here and there is no doubt we will be seeing a lot more of this young man.
For Ding though he showed once again,what a good matchplayer he has become and it certainly seems his "glass chin"when put under pressure is a thing of the past.
His opponent in the semi final will be Joe Perry after he produced a stunning display to beat Mark Selby 5-1.Selby had reached this stage of the tournament with the minimum of fuss,but he had no answer to Perry who took all four of the frames before the interval to lead 4-0 .Selby managed to get off the mark in the next, but there was to be no comeback as Perry took the next to seal a convincing win..
The match all snooker fans were looking forward to the most today was the clash of those old rivals Ronnie O'Sullivan & John Higgins but unfortunately,unlike many of their matches in the past this one was very one sided as Higgins struggled to get going and Ronnie continued his serene progress through this event recording the most straight forward of 5-1 victories.
Ronnie's opponent in the semi final will be Barry Hawkins after he,with the aid of breaks of 125 & 134, completed an easy 5-0 win over Marco Fu
A great weekend of snooker in store then with the tastiest of final between Ding & Ronnie still a very real possibility,mind u Messers Perry & Hawkins will have something to say about that.