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Xu Reaches Maiden Semi-final

Chinese teenager Xu Si produced a tremendous display to whitewash David Gilbert 4-0 and reach the semi-finals of the Indian Open in Vishakhapatnam.

Xu, 19, is playing his rookie season on the World Snooker Tour and hadn’t won a match as a pro until this week. The first showing of the talented star’s potential comes off the back of a change of cue shortly before this event started.

It was the relatively inexperienced Xu who was making the most of his opportunities, getting the better of the former International Championship finalist Gilbert. Xu made breaks of 72, 52 and 60 on his way to the win.

Three Facts About Xu Si

  • Xu won the World Under 21 title in 2016, defeating Alexander Ursenbacher in the final.
  • He showed his potential at last season’s International Championship, defeating Mark Williams 6-5 as an amateur.
  • Xu practises at Victoria’s Snooker Academy in Sheffield alongside fellow Chinese stars Yan Bingtao and Zhou Yuelong among many others.

Defending champion Anthony McGill also recorded a whitewash victory, defeating Zhang Anda 4-0.

McGill picked up the trophy last year by defeating Kyren Wilson 5-2 in the final. One of the form players this week, having only dropped three frames, McGill is still on course for back to back titles in India after today’s result. The Scot compiled runs of 57, 62 and 74 in the win.

John Higgins could still meet compatriot McGill in the final, after seeing off Liam Highfield 4-0.

The four-time World Champion won a tight opening frame on the black and then took control. He completed the victory with contributions of 112 and 57 and will face Xu in tomorrow’s semi-finals.

“It would be amazing if Scotland could have a final with both players in it, but we both have another match to play,” said the 28-time ranking winner. “I’m just trying to concentrate on each game and not get too far ahead of myself because that is where it can start to go wrong.”

McGill will now meet Mark King, who saw off Elliott Slessor 4-2. King won the first two frames then Slessor, who knocked out Shaun Murphy earlier in the day, took the third on the black. The next two were shared before Romford’s King sealed victory with a break of 110.

“I played well and it was nice to finish off with a century,” said King, who won his first ranking title at the Northern Ireland Open last season. “The self belief is there now, I’m not fighting with my mind wondering if I can do it, because I know I can. I’m preparing myself properly for tournaments to give myself a chance.”

Saturday’s schedule (local times):
11am: Anthony McGill v Mark King
Not before 12.30pm: John Higgins v Xu Si
6pm: Final