Mark Selby will face Shaun Murphy tomorrow in the final of The Haikou World Open in China,after both came through tough semi final battles earlier today.
This is a tournament that,certainly it seems in this part of the world, has gone under the radar this week,but that wont matter a bit to these two as they go in search of their first major ranking titles of the season.
Selby was the first man to secure his place in tomorrows decider,but only after surviving a spirited comeback from Marco Fu. A close match here looked unlikely as Selby stormed into a 4-0 and 5-1 lead,but Fu showed his great fighting qualities as he fought back to 5-4,before Selby cleared in a close tenth frame to seal his win on the black,winning in the end 6-4
The other semi final between the recently resurgent Shaun Murphy and the the champion here the last two seasons Mark Allen,was both a closer and higher quality affair,that also finished in high drama.The opening two frames here were shared before some fine break building from Murphy saw him open a 3-1 lead.The next four frames were shared to make it 5-3 before a century from Allen closed the gap to just one at 5-4. The tenth frame was a dramatic affair with the tension increasing before Allen potted the black to force a respot. These may have been tense times,but neither player was showing it as a series of superb safeties were traded before Allen failed in his attempt to cut the black in and could do nothing but watch as the white agonisingly went in off,gifting the 6-4 victory to Murphy.This was a cruel way for his remarkable run in this event to end,but he can reflect on one of his best weeks in a while.
So there we have it, a final between two men who probably feel they should have more silverware in their cabinets by now,such is their talent and consistency in recent seasons.By this time tomorrow one of them will.You can catch the action from early morning on Eurosport