Robertson and Higgins into semis

  • Last Updated: June 21 2013, 17:32 BST

World number one Neil Robertson and four-time world champion John Higgins both booked their places in the semi-finals of the Wuxi Classic.

John Higgins: Booked his place in the semi-finals
John Higgins: Booked his place in the semi-finals

Robertson had anything but an easy progression into the final four as he defeated home favourite Cao Yupeng, who he later said could be "the new Ding Junhui", 5-4.

The 2010 world champion had to come from 4-3 down to progress against the 22-year-old from Guangzhou, levelling with a break of 87 before two contributions in the 40s won him the decider.

"Overall the standard of the match was really good," Robertson told worldsnooker.com. "At 4-3 down I really had to dig in so I'm pleased by the way I came back and won the last two frames.

"Cao handled the pressure really well in his first quarter-final. Everyone is looking for the next Ding Junhui and I think if Cao can push on then he can be challenging for tournaments."

Robertson had led three times earlier in the match, with breaks of 79, 53 and 52, but Cao levelled on each occasion with runs of 91, 69 and 54 to take it to 3-3.

Robertson will now face Robert Milkins in the final four after he came through his quarter-final with Anthony Hamilton.

Milkins showed his intent from the first frame when he fired a break of 120 and moved to a 4-1 lead before Hamilton pulled back two to gain a foothold in the match at 4-3.

Milkins, who is currently ranked 18 in world, saw off the challenge of the Nottingham-born potter with a 53 break to win 5-3.

He will be hoping it proves third time lucky in semi-finals as he bids to reach his first ever ranking final.

"I'm chuffed to bits now to be in the semis but it will mean a lot more if I can get to the final," he said. "When I finish my career, I don't want to be the nearly man, I want to try to win a tournament.

"I'm glad I'm playing Neil rather than Cao because it takes a bit of pressure off me because I'm the underdog."

In the second semi-final, Higgins will face Wales' Matthew Stevens.

Higgins beat Joe Perry 5-2, surging into a dominant 4-1 lead helped by breaks of 97, 50 and 61.

Perry hit back with a 70 but his Scottish opponent would not be stopped and won a close seventh frame.

Stevens, twice a World Championship finalist, was also a 5-2 winner to end the run of surprise package David Morris.

The Kilkenny cueist had beaten Ali Carter in the last 16 and led 2-1 against Stevens, but the Welshman hit back with breaks of 50, 48, 40 and 61.

Higgins said: "I grew up with Matthew and I've played him many times. We always have good battles and I'm sure tomorrow will be another one. He looks to be playing well."

Stevens added: "John is one of the best players of all time and I'll have to play very well to get past him."

Should Robertson and Higgins both win through, it would set up a repeat of the recent Bulgarian Open final, which Higgins won 4-1.


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