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Haikou wins for Matthew Stevens, Mark Allen and Neil Robertson

Updated: Friday, 01 Mar 2013 15:54 | Comments

Matthew Stevens: 'I can't really believe I'm still here'
Matthew Stevens: 'I can't really believe I'm still here'

Matthew Stevens believes he must have secured a unique place in snooker history after knocking Judd Trump out of the Haikou World Open using his third cue of the tournament.

The 35-year-old Welshman had to lean on his fellow professionals for help when his cue failed to arrive with the rest of his luggage in China.

And after seeing off David Gilbert and Shaun Murphy with borrowed cues, he was finally reunited with his own as it arrived ahead of the clash with world number one Trump.

And it turned out to be Trump with the cue problem, as a warped tip forced him to undertake emergency repairs.

Stevens earned a fine 5-3 victory, featuring breaks of 64, 70 and 79, as Trump struggled with his modified tip, although breaks of 82 and 85 from the former UK champion indicated he was not entirely hampered.

"Judd struggled with his tip but I played well to go 3-1 up," Stevens said on worldsnooker.com.

"It was hot and sticky out there and the pockets are very tight, but it's the same for everyone and I'm just happy to be in the semis.

"Before my first match, if you had told me I would get to the semi-finals I would have laughed at you, because it's hard enough winning matches with your own cue.

"I can't really believe I'm still here. I've won three matches with three different cues and that must be some sort of record."

Trump found his tip trouble baffling.

"It must have got damp," he said. "When I was practising it was okay but then I went into the arena and it was different. It was frustrating and I found it hard to concentrate."

There have been numerous complaints about the heat in the venue arena, which has not been ideal for snooker, but Stevens coped best and now Neil Robertson stands in his way of reaching the final on Hainan Island.

Robertson ousted world number two Mark Selby 5-3, with a highest break of 107, and explained he had adopted more attacking tactics than usual for their tussle.

Australian Robertson said: "I made some big breaks and it was a good performance. Mark is such a good safety player that when the frames go on for a long time he is very hard to beat. So I just tried to play attacking snooker."

The second semi-final will see John Higgins go up against Mark Allen.

Both raced through their quarter-finals, with Higgins in scintillating form as he beat China's big hope Ding Junhui 5-0.

The Scot fired in breaks of 141 and 113 in the opening two frames, and Ding scored only 40 points in the match.

Northern Irishman Allen ousted England's Ricky Walden 5-1.

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