FORMER world champion Shaun Murphy produced a battling comeback to stun rising star Jack Lisowski and reach the China Open semi-finals.
Murphy put an end to the 21-year-old’s fine run this week in Beijing with a hard-fought 5-4 win
But the 2005 world champion did it the hard way coming back from 4-2 down to win the final three frames of the contest as Lisowski failed to get over the winning line.
The world number 42, who beat Judd Trump and Mark Davis en-route to his first quarter-final of a major ranking event, was left to ponder what could have been after throwing away a couple of decent chances to take the match.
A break of 62 gave Lisowski the opening frame before Murphy responded in fine fashion with a break of 137. The next two frames were also shared as they went into the interval locked at 2-2.
And it looked as if Lisowski’s fine run was to stretch even further when he took the next two frames to put him just one frame away from the semi-finals.
But the Cheltenham born star failed to take the chances which his came way as Murphy came back at him with runs of 40 and 48.
In the decider the first chance went to Lisowski who missed a simple red into the centre. Murphy then dominated before a long red from the young potter presented him with another chance to win it. But a missed green into the baulk corner proved costly as Murphy did the rest to clinch a narrow win.
The win for Murphy set up a semi-final showdown with Mark Selby who continued his fine form with a 5-1 victory over Mark Williams.
Leading 2-1, Selby took the match away from the Welshman with a brilliant 64 clearance after Williams missed a red when it looked like he would level at 2-2 on a break of 54. The Leicester star then won the next two frames to seal the win.
Tomorrow’s semi-final (first to six frames) between the pair will be a repeat of this season’s UK Championship final which Selby won at York’s Barbican Theatre.
The other semi-final sees last year’s China Open runner-up Stephen Maguire take on Australian Neil Robertson.
Maguire booked his place into the last four with an impressive 5-1 victory over Stuart Bingham. And Robertson increased his chances of bagging his first China Open title after proving too strong for Marcus Campbell, winning 5-2.
China Open 2013 – Semi-Finals:
Neil ROBERTSON vs Stephen MAGUIRE
Shaun MURPHY vs Mark SELBY