Just four players remain at the 2017 World Open in Yushan with the top prize of £150,000 now just two matches away for the eventual champion.
Following the upsets of India, we have a more predictable semi-final line-up this week in China with four current top 16 players, though perhaps not all of those who might have been tipped at the start of the week.
From the top quarter of the draw we do not have world number one Mark Selby following his defeat to Lee Walker earlier in the week, but Belgium’s Luca Brecel who is looking to capture his second major title in the space of one month by taking victory on Sunday evening.
Having surged up into the top 16 following his success at August’s China Championship, a second title would mean that the 22-year-old will have earned more ranking prize money from the two events alone than all but three tour players during the whole of last season.
So far this week the rising star has defeated Mike Dunn, Daniel Wells, Cao Yupeng and Anthony McGill – the last three all in deciding frames – to reach the last four.
Hoping to ensure that his run ends there will be home favourite Ding Junhui, who this week has come through against three of his countrymen in Zhang Anda, Xiao Guodong and Li Hang to set up a best of 11 frame contest with Brecel tomorrow. Ding is bidding to claim his first silverware since the 2016 Shanghai Masters and what would be his 13th ranking success in total.
In the bottom half of the draw Kyren Wilson takes on Mark Allen, with both looking to give their world ranking positions a significant boost with victory this week.
Wilson in particular impressed during his 5-1 defeat of Mark Williams, three century breaks and a further 71 for the Warrior resulting in five frames without a pot by the two-time world champion. With his place at January’s Masters less than certain with prize money to defend following his Shanghai Masters victory two years previously, Wilson has already strengthened his position this week and will be looking to further do so over the weekend.
Another player with prize money to defend later this season is Mark Allen and today he saw off David Gilbert, conqueror of John Higgins yesterday, by the same 5-1 scoreline to set up a clash with Wilson.
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