Stephen Maguire will play Alfie Burden in the quarter-finals of the BAIC Motor China Open on Friday in a match which will determine his top 16 place.
Maguire saw off Dominic Dale 5-1 in the last 16 today, recovering from the loss of the first frame to win five in a row with top breaks of 86 and 51. If the Glaswegian beats Burden to reach the semi-finals in Beijing then he will go ahead of Ding Junhui into 16th place in the provisional rankings.
With the seeding axe for the World Championship to fall at the end of this event, that would mean China’s Ding dropping out of the top 16 and having to win three matches to qualify for the Crucible.
John Higgins is chasing a second consecutive ranking title in China
David Gilbert and Graeme Dott both needed to win the tournament to get into the top 16 and their hopes ended as they lost in the last 16.
Gilbert was beaten 5-3 by John Higgins in a repeat of the International Championship final. A high quality match saw Gilbert make breaks of 91, 78, 115 and 54 while Higgins made 92, 62, 114 and 52.
Higgins said: “David had a couple of chances to go 2-0 up but I managed to win the second frame and that changed the match. He’s one of the best ball strikers on the tour and he made some great breaks. He had a chance to make it 4-4 but I won that last frame on the colours so I was very happy to do that.
“For the last few days I’ve been suffering from a bad back. I have been for some treatment here which has really helped.”
Dott lost 5-1 to Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham, who is through to the quarter-finals of a full ranking event for the first time.
The average frame time for Trump’s win over Fu was just nine minutes 37 seconds
In form Judd Trump needed just 57 minutes to beat Marco Fu 5-1. With a sizzling display of rapid break-building, Trump compiled runs of 109, 67, 77 and 110.
“I played similar to yesterday and scored very well,” said Trump. “I enjoy it lot more when it’s fast. This is one of my favourite tournaments because it’s the first one I won. Tomorrow is another big game and I’ll try to play the same way.”
Friday’s quarter-final line-up
Ricky Walden v Stuart Bingham
John Higgins v Noppon Saengkham
Judd Trump v Mark King
Stephen Maguire v Alfie Burden