MICHAEL Holt and Xiao Guodong will battle it on Saturday to reach their first major ranking final after gaining impressive quarter-final wins earlier today.
Nottingham potter Holt ended Kyren Wilson’s giant-killing run, which included wins over Stuart Bingham and Marco Fu, with a 5-1 win to make the last four of the Shanghai Masters.
The 35-year-old, who turned professional in 1996, is the winner of two PTC titles and reaching the semi-finals in Shanghai is his best performance in a major during his 17-year career.
And like his previous wins over Judd Trump and Martin Gould, Holt impressed against the 21-year-old with breaks of 85, 64 and 80.
Holt will face Xiao Guodong from China who battled back from 4-2 down to defeat man in-form Mark Davis.
The 24-year-old dominated the final three frames with two breaks of 61 to reach his first ranking event semi-final and add to his previous wins against Yuan Sijun, Stephen Maguire and Peter Lines.
The day’s evening session saw plenty of drama as World Championship runner-up Barry Hawkins fought back to defeat world number two Mark Selby for the third time this year.
Selby looked in control at 4-2 up but Hawkins, who beat Selby in the German Masters and World Championship last season, came storming back winning the seventh and eighth frame with the tournament’s highest break of 140.
Hawkins, ranked number 9 in the world, then had the better of the final frame to earn a thrilling 5-4 win.
His next opponent will be Ding Junhui who made it a step closer to winning his first major title here since the 2005 China Open after beating world number one Neil Robertson.
Leading 4-2, Ding wrapped up a deserved victory with a typical classy break of 109.
The semi-finals take place on Saturday with matches being the best-out-of 11.
Shanghai Masters 2013 – Semi-Final line-up:
Xiao GUODONG vs Michael HOLT
Barry HAWKINS vs Ding JUNHUI