Ding reaches semi-finals
Ding Junhui stayed on course to defend his BetVictor Welsh Open title with a comfortable quarter-final victory over Robert Milkins at the Newport Centre.
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The Chinese potter has not won a ranking title since his victory over Mark Selby in the final of this event last year, but looked impressive as he reached the last four with a 5-1 demolition of Milkins.
Ding caught the eye with breaks of 50, 104 and 74 as he raced into a 4-0 lead, and, although Milkins struck back with a morale-boosting 108 in the fifth, the Englishman was only delaying the inevitable.
The writing was on the wall when Milkins broke down on 52 in the next, allowing Ding to the table to post a 63 clearance that secured a semi-final berth against Stuart Bingham, who defeated Ken Doherty 5-3 earlier on Friday.
Ding is now just two wins away from ending his title drought, but was keen to downplay his recent record.
"I have been working hard," he told worldsnooker.com. "I have just been a but unlucky in a few tournaments."
Earlier, Pankaj Advani's history-making run at the Welsh Open was halted in comprehensive fashion by world number two Judd Trump.
The 27-year-old from Bangalore became the first Indian player to make the quarter-finals of a ranking event when he beat Graeme Dott 4-1 on Thursday.
But he found Trump a different proposition in Newport, with the former UK Championship winner wrapping up a 5-2 victory.
"I felt a lot more confident today and I'm steadily improving throughout the tournament which is what the likes of John Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan do," Trump told worldsnooker.com.
"I was happy to see Pankaj come back to 4-2 because it gave me a chance to prove myself. I created chances and went for my shots. I just missed a couple of balls when I was on 50 or 60 and I need to cut that out.
"I want to try to win this tournament and build a good lead in the world rankings. It's a good time to get my confidence back especially with the World Championship around the corner.
"Pankaj showed what he can do when he was 4-0 down. He has a bright future - he just needs more experience of playing on TV."
Next up for Trump is a semi-final encounter with Stephen Maguire, who prevailed 5-3 in the all-Scottish quarter-final against Alan McManus.