Stuart Bingham beats Zhao Xintong to reach the semi-finals of the Welsh Open

Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham

Former world champion Stuart Bingham eased into the semi-finals of the Welsh Open with a comfortable 5-2 defeat of Zhao Xintong in Cardiff.

Bingham, winner of the English Open earlier in the season, took one step closer to another ranking title with an impressive display that saw him continue the heavy scoring that has been a theme of his week in Wales so far.

It was Xintong who actually took the opening frame, a break of 92 suggesting the youngster was showing no signs of early nerves, but Bingham produced a fabulous response of 134 to level the scores.

Breaks of 99, 59 and 67 saw Bingham quickly establish a 4-1 lead, Xintong denied precious table time before he eventually stopped the rot with a well-taken run of 75 in frame six.

A tense seventh frame offered Xintong hope of mounting a strong comeback but it was Bingham who found the knockout blow, holding his nerve to close out the match and set up a last-four clash with either John Higgins or Joe O'Connor.

O'Connor adds Higgins scalp in Cardiff

Joe O'Connor continued his giant-killing run at the Welsh Open with a shock 5-3 quarter-final victory over world number five John Higgins.

The 23-year-old Englishman, who is ranked 103 in the world, had already beaten Kyren Wilson and Ding Junhui on his way to the last eight and sealed the famous win over Higgins with a 131 break.

Robertson fights back

Former world champion Neil Robertson had to dig deep to reach the semi-finals as he fought back from 4-2 down to beat Kurt Maflin 5-4. The Australian reeled off breaks of 69, 136 and 67 to clinch the final three frames.

He will face Iran's Hossein Vafaei, who followed up his win against world number one Mark Selby in the last 16 to cruise through to the final four with a 5-1 victory against Scott Donaldson.

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