Snooker - Robertson, Higgins reach Wuxi Classic semis

Neil Robertson came through a final frame decider with Cao Yupeng to reach the semi-finals of the Wuxi Classic.

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Snooker - Robertson, Higgins reach Wuxi Classic semis
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Neil Robertson (Reuters)

The Australian was full of confidence after a 5-0 demolition of Mark King on Thursday but the world number 66, in his first ranking event quarter-final, proved a far tougher proposition.

The 2010 world champion led on three occasions, aided by breaks of 79, 53 and 52, but each time was pegged back by the Chinese player who produced breaks of 91, 69 and 54 to level at 1-1, 2-2 and 3-3.

And a shock looked on the cards as a 54 break in frame seven saw Yupeng lead but the Melbourne Machine held his nerve to level courtesy of an 87 run before closing out the victory with breaks of 43 and 40 in the decider.

He will face Robert Milkins in the semi-finals after the Englishman reached the last four of a ranking event for the first time since the 2012 World Open after a 5-3 victory over Anthony Hamilton.

The world number 18 opened up with a 120 break and followed it up with a 73 to take a 2-0 lead. The Sheriff of Pottingham got on the board in the next but Milkins went 4-1 ahead via a run of 53 in frame five.

Hamilton, who spent five seasons ranked among the game's top 16 but is now outside the top 40, kept the match alive with breaks of 40 and 79 to reduce the deficit to one but Gloucester’s Milkins wrapped up the victory with a 53 run.

John Higgins, who prevailed 4-2 against Robertson in the final of the Bulgarian Open, continued his fine form in China by dispatching Joe Perry 5-2.

Resurgent Cambridge cueist Perry found himself 4-1 down following runs of 38, 97, 50 and 61 from four-time world champion Higgins.

A break of 70 in frame six cut the arrears to 4-2 but Higgins came out on top of a tactical seventh frame to secure his spot in the semi-final against Matthew Stevens.

Stevens overcame David Morris 5-2 to secure his place in the penultimate stage of the competition.

Stevens took the first frame courtesy of a 62 break before world number 145 Morris, who beat two-time world finalist Ali Carter in a tense decider on Thursday, put together runs of 60 and 24 to take a one frame advantage.

However, ‘The Welsh Dragon’ took the next four frames with runs of 50, 48, 40 and 61 to secure his place in the next round.

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