Stephen Maguire produced one of his best displays ever as a sensational performance saw him beat Neil Robertson in the Tour Championship.
The Scot is only playing in the tournament due to Ding Junhui’s withdrawal on safety grounds – and he appears to be taking full advantage of his fortune with a performance later described by pundit Alan McManus as ‘magnificent’.
Maguire, who made the UK Championship final earlier this season, hit six centuries in a high quality opening match in which he defeated the Australian 9-5.
Playing his first match since the coronavirus pandemic and with a new cue, Maguire got off to the perfect start as a century break saw him win the opening frame before then taking a 3-1 lead.
Robertson, ranked number 2 in the world, hit back winning three frames on the bounce to take a 4-3 lead before Maguire responded with a break of 117 to level the match 4-4 at the interval.
The opening frame of the evening session was won by Robertson before Maguire completely dominated the proceedings with a spell of flawless snooker.
Four century breaks on the spin – 103, 135, 111 and 155 – put him on the verge of victory leaving Robertson stunned trailing 8-5.
And Maguire hit back in the next frame as a clearance of 59 sealed his place in the semi-finals.
Sunday’s match sees a repeat of last season’s World Championship final between Judd Trump and John Higgins.