Quarter final day at the 2014 China Open and despite the fact we had the defending champion as well as the local hero in action there is really only one place we can start.
Mike Dunn has been a professional for the last 23 years,but up to this week had never before gotten beyond the last 16 of a ranking event.That however is now no longer the case as the 42 year old today overcame World no.2 Mark Selby 5-3 to record what is surely the biggest win of his career & reach the semi finals.
There was little sign of what was to come early on as Selby,despite losing the opening frame,produced runs of 51 & 68 to take a 2-1 lead, From here things got a little scrappy and Dunn took the next two on the black before Selby won another close frame to level it up a 3-3. From here Dunn produced his highest break of the match,a 63,to lead 4-3 and he held himself together to take a lengthy eighth frame to seal a famous victory.
His reward for this is a semi final against the home favourite Ding Junhui after the Chinese once again delighted his fans with a 5-2 win over Mark King.
It was Ding who raced out of the blocks in this one to go into an early 3-0 thanks to breaks of 53,67 & 69.King to his credit battled back,taking the next two to make it 2-3,but it was Ding who again pulled away to secure the win.
In the other half of the draw a slightly healthier looking Neil Robertson held off a gritty fightback from Graeme Dott to take his place in the semi finals with a 5-3 win.The first couple of frames were shared in this one before Robertson opened up a 3-2 lead at the interval. The fifth frame appeared to be the pivotal moment of the match after Dott,having forced a respot surrendered it easily allowing Robertson to go 4-1 ahead.
Dott as we know though is a fighter and he quickly took the next two frames to close to 4-3.He also had a decent scoring chance in the next ,but failed to make most of it and defending champion Robertson moved one step closer to retaining his crown sealing the win 5-3.
Robertson's semi final opponent will be Ali Carter,who is doing his best here this week to finish a difficult season on a high.Today he faced Ricky Walden and looked in fine touch as breaks of 61,51 & 75 saw him open up a 3-1 interval lead. Walden did come out the stronger on the resumption,but having seen the score go 3-3 it was Carter who once again pulled away to win 5-3.
So now we have four men remaining in the hunt for the title and although logic dictated that we are looking at a Roberson v Ding final,we have seen many stranger things happen in this game to allow us be able to state that with any confidence.