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Ding Junhui remains on course to defend his Welsh Open crown in Newport

Updated: Saturday, 16 Feb 2013 10:01 | Comments

Ding Junhui will face Stuart Bingham
Ding Junhui will face Stuart Bingham

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 on Friday night.

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 today.

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."

Judd Trump will play in the other semi-final encounter with Stephen Maguire, who prevailed 5-3 in tonight's all-Scottish quarter-final against Alan McManus.

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