/ Snooker

Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, Neil Robertson and Stephen Maguire to contest China Open semi-finals

Updated: Friday, 29 Mar 2013 22:28 | Comments

Mark Selby now has his eye on Shaun Murphy in the last-four
Mark Selby now has his eye on Shaun Murphy in the last-four

World number two Mark Selby will take on Shaun Murphy for a place in the final of the Beijing China Open after both men enjoyed contrasting victories in the last eight.

Selby eased past Mark Williams 5-1 but Murphy had to come from 4-2 down to complete a battling win 5-4 win over surprise package Jack Lisowski.

Neil Robertson continued his fine form with a 5-2 win over Marcus Campbell. The Australian has dropped just three frames so far and booked an appointment with Stephen Maguire, who cruised to a 5-1 victory over Stuart Bingham.

Selby won a scrappy opening frame on the colours before Williams' 54 won the second.

Selby won the third before a clearance of 64 put him two ahead. An edgy fifth again went to Selby before he secured the win with a 72.

"It was quite similar to yesterday (against Ricky Walden), I didn't play fantastic," said Selby. "Mark had a lot of chances but he missed too many balls.

"He kept giving me chances and I managed to take them in the end.

"As long as I keep winning then I have the chance to play better, and I'm only two matches away now from winning the title. I feel relaxed and I'm enjoying playing."

Having beaten Judd Trump and Mark Davis on his way to the last eight, Lisowski looked set to continue that run against Murphy - who although consistent has yet to win a title this season.

Breaks of 40 and 48 brought him level, before final-frame breaks of 41 and 36 secured his progression.

"There's a fine line between winning and losing and I had a bit of luck at the right time," admitted 30-year-old Murphy.

"Jack is a player we're going to see a lot more of in the next 10 or 15 years - we have glimpsed the future this week.

"People better learn how to say his name properly because he's going to be around for a long time. He's very talented and confident and he plays an aggressive style of snooker.

"Any match against Mark Selby is difficult and I will have to play the best I've played all week. My break-building is good when I get chances, so if my safety play is strong then who knows."

It was Campbell who took the opening frame against Robertson with a break of 50 before the Australian won the next two with 87 and 89.

Dumbarton's Campbell made it 2-2 at the interval after laying two difficult snookers on the brown at the end of a scrappy fourth frame.

Former world champion Robertson compiled a run of 50 in the fifth and finally took it by potting the pink, then knocked in a 113 for 4-2.

Campbell had chances to pull one back, but two misses on the third-last red proved costly as Robertson wrapped up the tie.

Robertson, who has not won a ranking title since the 2010 World Open, said: "It's a dream semi-final line-up. The four of us all came through together and started winning tournaments around the same time.

"Both semis will be hard to call. I always enjoy playing Stephen Maguire, he's very attacking and it makes for an open game. Hopefully we'll see some world-class snooker in both games tomorrow."

Welsh Open champion Maguire led 3-0 with a top break of 102, before Bingham stole the fourth on the final black. Maguire made a 73 to lead 4-1 and settled the result in a scrappy sixth frame.

"Stuart and I both played garbage today," said Maguire. "I started off okay but after that it got worse. If I could afford it I would give the crowd their money back, but I can't. It just felt like a practice match, we both felt very flat.

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow and just hoping I can find a bit of form. If not my luck will run out sometime, I can't win the tournament playing like that.

"I feel as if my form is hiding away somewhere, it's a case of putting in some graft and hoping to find something."

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