MARK Allen is just two wins away from winning the Haikou World Open for a third year running after beating John Higgins to reach the semi-finals.
The Northern Irishman completed a 5-3 win over the Scotsman who yesterday recorded a stunning comeback over Judd Trump after being 4-0 down.
Allen, who beat Stephen Lee and Matthew Stevens in the previous Haikou World Open finals in 2012 and 2013 respectively, hit two centuries and a break of 80 to seal the win against the four-times world champion.
Allen will bid to reach the final on Saturday when he takes on Englishman Shaun Murphy in the semi-finals.
Murphy, who last month was crowned the winner of the Gydnia Open, fought back from behind to defeat Graeme Dott in a nine frame thriller.
The match appeared to be plain sailing for the 2005 world champion when he took a 3-0 lead but the match took a dramatic turn when Dott wheeled off four frames on the spin to put himself in charge of the contest at 4-3.
But Murphy battled back to force a final frame decider which dramatically saw Dott miss the final pink in search of victory. Murphy then fluked the final black to record a 5-4 win.
Earlier in the day Mark Selby cruised his way into the last four with a crushing 5-1 win over Alan McManus.
The world number two will meet Marco Fu in Saturday’s other semi-final after he continued his impressive season on the baize with a 5-3 quarter-final win over Mark Joyce.