STEPHEN Maguire continued to impress in this year’s Masters event as he knocked out world number one Neil Robertson with a convincing win.
The world number 5 brought his A game to the Alexandra Palace with a solid mix of break building and tactical play in a 6-2 win over last year’s finalist.
Maguire, who beat Joe Perry in the first round, will face reigning world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan on Saturday for a place in the final. O’Sullivan thrashed Ricky Walden 6-0 earlier today.
It was a well deserved win for the Scottish star in what was one of his most impressive displays of the season. But it proved a frustrating night for the Australian as not much seemed to fall his way despite a brief comeback in the middle of the contest.
The match started in scrappy fashion with the opening frame lasting three quarters of an hour. But it was Maguire who won it before breaks of 40 and 39 earned him a 2-0 lead.
Things got even better for Maguire in frame three when runs of 68 and 55 extended his lead further to 3-0.
Robertson managed to get his rhythm going in the fourth frame with a break of 74 and got right back into the match when he took the first frame after the mid-session interval to reduce his deficit to 3-2.
But the fifth frame proved to be Robertson’s final joy as Maguire battled his way to the winning post. A well compiled break of 75 got him back to winning ways and another impressive clearance put the Scot 5-2 ahead.
And victory was clinched with a vital long pot which set up a match-winning break of 38.
The Masters – Semi-Finals
Mark SELBY vs Shaun MURPHY
Stephen MAGUIRE vs Ronnie O’SULLVAN