MARK Williams booked his place into the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters only hours after being involved in a serious scooting accident.
While riding a scooter at a cue sports trade show, the Welshman then lost his balance and fell on the floor less than 24 hours before his quarter final tie with Joe Perry.
But an injury to his right wrist did not stop Williams in his quest for a semi-final spot and won a thrilling topsy-turvy match which went all the way into a deciding frame shoot-out.
Williams came back from 3-2 down to go within a frame away from victory. But Perry, who knocked out Neil Robertson on Thursday, came storming back with a century break of 131 – the joint highest in the tournament – to level the contest at 4-4.
The final frame added even more drama to what was an exciting match with Joe Perry sportingly declaring a foul on himself when after potting the first red the cueball screwed back and caught the Cambridge potter’s tip on his cue.
But then a brilliant long red from Williams set up a match-winning break of 75 to seal a place in the last four of the competition – a feat he has not achieved since playing in the Shanghai Masters last season.
Williams’ semi-final opponent tomorrow will be Judd Trump, who like the Welshman, was forced to battle all the way in his quarter-final tie against Graeme Dott.
The Bristol potter looked set for a comfortable passage into the semi-finals when leading 4-2 but Dott once again showed his fighting qualities winning the next two frames to force a decider.
Trump’s heart was in his mouth when he missed a black off its spot while on a break of 25 but Dott failed to capitalise on his opponent’s unenforced error when a long red missed its target.
Second time around, Judd made no mistake and booked his place into the last four in stunning style with a century break of 108.
At the top half of the draw, Shaun Murphy had no troubles in reaching the semi-finals with a convincing 5-1 won over Stuart Bingham.
Murphy, seeking his first world ranking title in China, was always in control as breaks of 50, 72 and 84 ended Bingham’s chances of winning the competition.
And Murphy will take on John Higgins who got a step closer to securing his first title in well over a year with a 5-3 win over Ali Carter. Breaks of 103, 69 and 57 helped the Scot reach his first semi-final of a ranking event since winning the world championship at the Crucible last year.
Murphy’s and Higgins’ semi-final meeting is a repeat of the 2009 World Championship final where the Scot clinched his third world title winning 18-9.
Shanghai Masters 2012 – Semi Final Draw:
Matches to be played on Saturday, September 22.
Shaun MURPHY vs John HIGGINS
Mark WILLIAMS vs Judd TRUMP