Kyren Wilson put on a fine display to defeat Ding Junhui 5-1 and reach the last four of the Bank of Beijing China Open.
It’s a welcome return to form for Wilson ahead of next month’s World Championship. He’s broken a run of four consecutive first round defeats and has reached his first semi-final since the Northern Ireland Open in November.
Ding’s focus will now turn to the Crucible as he looks to go one better than last year, where he was runner-up to Mark Selby.
Wilson played aggressively throughout the tie and he moved 3-1 ahead at the interval thanks to a run of 55 in the fourth frame.
The 25-year-old had a contender for shot of the season in the first frame after the break. He cut back a red above the blue spot into the bottom pocket from long range and went on to clear with a run of 30 to take the frame on the black. A bitter blow for the home favourite Ding, who now trailed 4-1.
The world number four’s fortunes didn’t improve in the next, as the Warrior ruthlessly shut the door with a break of 84 to clinch an impressive 5-1 win.
“It’s nice to be in a semi-final of such a big tournament again, especially before the World Championship,” said Wilson. “I feel like my form is coming together at the right time and Ding is a very good player so to have any win over him is a massive feather in my cap.”
However, it doesn’t get any easier for Wilson in the semi-finals, as he will face world number one and World Champion Mark Selby who crushed Scotland’s Stephen Maguire 5-1.
Defeat for Maguire ends his ambitions of qualifying directly for the Crucible and he will now head to Ponds Forge needing to win three best of 19 matches to reach the World Championship.
Selby has kept his hopes alive of claiming a second China Open title. His other victory in Beijing came in 2015 when he crushed Gary Wilson 10-2 in the final.
The early exchanges were bereft of high breaks, but Selby looked the more composed of the two when among the balls. A clutch clearance of 47 allowed him to go 3-0 ahead after trailing in the third.
After the interval Selby showed his class and made breaks of 76 and 72 to secure a 5-1 win and book a semi-final meeting with Wilson.