Brecel reaches China Championship final after late night thriller

Luca Brecel kept his cool when it mattered to reach the China Championship final after a thrilling semi-final clash against China’s Li Hang which went all the way past the midnight hour.

Luca Brecel. Picture: BBC Sport

The Belgian Bullet will play his biggest match yet on Tuesday when he takes on Shaun Murphy in the China showdown – with a huge £150,000 to play for.

Brecel, 22, knocked out Ronnie O’Sullivan in the quarter-finals and now stands one win away from clinching his first career ranking title. Even defeat would guarantee the world number 27 his career biggest pay day of £75,000.

An exciting encounter saw Li Hang – looking to reach his first ever ranking final – take the upper hand when a break of 86 in the ninth frame put him 5-4 ahead and just one frame away from victory. But a stunning penultimate red from Brecel just when it was needed helped him force a decider as the clock ticked past midnight.

And Brecel clinched a thrilling 6-5 victory with a brilliant break of 75 under the most pressurised of circumstances.

Tuesday’s final will be Brecel’s second appearance in a major ranking final. He lost to Martin Gould when he competed in the German Masters final in 2016.

 

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