We often see in this sport where one player playing well can inspire his opponent and we end up with a classic,but on the reverse side the opposite can also be the case,with one player struggling and bringing down the standard of the other,That appeared to be the case this afternoon as Mark Allen & Joe Perry both struggled to get anywhere near the levels they reached in their first round victories.
In a match that both payers will want to forget it was Allen who took the early initiative going to the interval leading 3-1.On the resumption Perry dug deep to level the match at 3-3 & then at 4-4,but it was Allen who managed to grind out the necessary frames to go through 6-4.
One thing for sure is that he will need to play a lot better if he is to trouble the in form Shaun Murphy tomorrow.
Murphy reached this stage with a fine comeback against a determined Stephen Maguire. Just the type of match we were in for was obvious here from the start as Maguire flew into a 2-0 lead,taking the first of those with a marvelous 137 clearance.
Back came Murphy though with a 103 of his own before also taking the fourth frame to level it up at 2-2.Maguire edged ahead again,taking frame five,but Murphy drew level again 3-3.
Murphy took the lead for the first time in the match when he nicked the next on the black,,but Maguire came firing back with a 75 to make it 4-4.
What we have here this week though is a Shaun Murphy full of belief and confidence.His second 103 break of the match moved him within one of victory at 5-4 and there was to be no decider here as he sealed victory in the next to win 6-4.
A fascinating weekend we have in store then. Ronnie O'Sullivan is still the obvious favourite,but if Neil Robertson can reproduce the form he showed against Ali Carter he will give the Rocket plenty to think about,Then looking at the second semi final,going purely on what we saw today Shaun Murphy will start his match with Mark Allen as a warm favourite,but as we know with this game 24 hours can change everything.
What we do know is that whoever does come through these two semi finals we are in for one hell of a weekend of snooker.