THAILAND’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh is set for one of the biggest games of his life after his remarkable run continued to reach the International Championship semi-finals.
This season’s Six Reds champion is just one more win away from his first major ranking final in the traditional form after beating Mark Allen 6-5 on Thursday.
Incredibly Un-Nooh, who is ranked 47 in the world, has won every game in the competition – including his qualifying match at the start of the month – 6-5.
Un-Nooh reached the semi-finals of the Indian Open earlier this year but with significantly more prize money at stake, his run here will go down as the best he’s had in the sport.
In what proved to be a close tussle throughout, a break of 99 saw the 30-year-old take a 5-4 lead over Allen who reached last year’s final.
But the Ulsterman responded brilliantly as a break of 118 meant Un-Nooh was forced to battle out another decider.
And battle he did, as a break of 49 helped seal his place in the semi-finals of the biggest ranking event outside the UK.
Un-Nooh will face England’s David Gilbert who also reached his first major ranking semi-final after beating Marco Fu following a tense finish.
Fu, who fell just one frame short of winning the International Championship two years ago, looked a strong favourite for another semi-final appearance when he went 4-2 up against the Tamworth based star.
But Gilbert fought back brilliantly winning the next three frames, including a break of 130, to go 5-4 up.
The next frame saw Fu force a final frame decider with a break of 78. And a see-saw final frame was clinched by Gilbert with a vital clearance of 37.
Meanwhile, four-times world champion John Higgins also sealed his place in the semi-finals with an impressive victory over Joe Perry.
The Scot, who is now just two more wins from winning his second major title of the season after his success in the Australian Open, dominated throughout before winning 6-3.
Next up for Higgins will be world number 1 Mark Selby who overcame a tough encounter against Neil Robertson to reach the semi-finals.
The Leciester star battled back from 2-1 down against the Australain before winning 6-4.
Both semi-finals will be a best-of-17 encounter. Un-Nooh and Gilbert meet on Friday while Selby and Higgins’ semi-final clash takes place on Saturday.