Ricky Walden staged a stirring comeback to stun Mark Williams and reach the semi-finals of the Players Championship in Wolverhampton.

Walden was 4-1 and 5-2 down but battled back to progress to the final four after winning a thrilling encounter in dramatic fashion in the deciding frame.

Williams took a scrappy opening frame 69-17 but the former world number one hit a 103 in the next frame to go two up.

Walden knocked in a 60 on his way to reducing his deficit but back-to-back centuries took Williams clear at 4-1.

A 123 break from Walden saw him within two again but Williams moved a frame away from victory when he took the seventh.

However, Walden dug in with successive half-century breaks, before fighting his way through to level at 5-5 and take the match to a decider.

Walden was in first but let in Williams, who looked set for victory before agonisingly missing a red when a clearance would have seen the Welshman win by a single point.

Walden sunk the red for victory and will play the winner of Yan Bingtao and Barry Hawkins' match in the semi-finals on Friday.

Earlier in the day John Higgins booked his place in the quarter-finals after coming back from two frames behind to beat Hossein Vafaei 6-3.

Vafaei had a positive start, taking a 2-0 lead, but Higgins fought back to level the match with the fourth frame.
Higgins took the lead with a break of 134, one of three tons in the match, to power through to the next round.

The Scottish player is due to face Jimmy Robertson in the last eight, after he saw off Luca Brecel 6-1.
The duo exchanged the first two frames before Robertson pulled ahead, taking the next five.