Stephen Hendry has revealed how he is still puzzled by Yan Bingtao who has reached The Masters semi-finals at the first time of asking.
The world number 11 beat Stephen Maguire 6-5 to reach the last four of the famous competition on his debut appearance.
But during the quarter-final match seven-times world snooker champion Hendry said he was still trying to work out Bangtao’s style of play and felt he lacked a “spark” compared to other top players on the circuit.
However, Hendry also praised the 20-year-old for being “solid” and said any player would have to play to their best to beat him.
Speaking on BBC Sport during the thrilling quarter-final tie, Hendry said: “He’s just a very solid player – I’m still trying to work him out what kind of player he his, I really am.
“You would not call him a flair player at all, but he’s just very very solid and he does most things pretty well. There’s nothing he does badly but he has not got a spark about his game.
“But he’s got the game that he will be around for years because he doesn’t make many unforced errors.
“I don’t think he will win this week but he’s going to be tough to beat.”
Bingtao, winner of one ranking event so far in his young career, will today play defending champion Stuart Bingham for a place in The Masters final.
He has also appeared in the final of the 2020 Players Championship and the 2017 Northern Ireland Open.