The Barbican Centre, York - 3-11 December 2011
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UK Championship 2011 - Quarter-Final News
Judd Trump 6-3 Stephen Maguire
Snooker's hot new talent Judd Trump played what he described as 'naughty snooker' in beating Stephen Maguire to reach his maiden UK Championship semi-final. Maguire took the first frame but Trump hit back strong to take the next three with breaks of 72, 62 and 43. He continued strong after the interval with two breaks of 106 to put him 5-1 up. Maguire rallied back to 5-3 with the help of breaks of 62 and 80 but it wasn't enough as Trump hit an exceptional break of 120 to win the match.
After seeing off Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-5 in the second round Trump has only gotten stronger and seems to be back to the form that won him the China Open and reached the final of the world championship earlier in the year, could he possibly win his first major event here in York? He is favourite with the bookies to do so.
Trump - "I want to play naughty snooker. It's a hard thing to describe and define. All I can say is that sometimes when I play a shot I just know it was so good it was a bit naughty.
"That's what I'm after. If I'm honest I didn't feel brilliant out there against Stephen but at 2-1 he missed an easy ball and my confidence grew and grew. I took the chance and never looked back really.
"There is a lot more to come, I have a lot of work to do on my safety to stop gifting frames away to people. I might stop practising potting and do play safety tonight. - Player quotes courtesy of World Snooker
Neil Robertson 6-2 Ding Junhui
Australia's best ever player Neil Robertson wasted no time tonight in beating China's Ding Junhui 6-2 to reach his first UK Championship semi-final. The 2010 World Champion was 2-2 going in to the interval with the help of a 101 break in the second frame. After that it was all Robertson's game as breaks of 41, 67, 56 gave him a commanding 5-2 lead. Ding made a 33 break in the decider but but due to a phone ringing in the audience he missed a black of the spot and let Neil in to make a 79 break to win the match.
Neil Robertson has one at least major ranking title in every one of the last five years but has gone without a win this year. Can he keep this trend going in 2011? If he manages to beat Judd Trump in the semi-final he we be the definite favourite as he has never lost in any of his six major finals. Due to his vast experience I would have to make Robertson the slight favourite in the best-of-17 semi-final but it should be a close game either way.
Neil - "Ding is one of the best players, but you know what he is going to do. He is predictable. With Judd you just do not know what is going to happen next on the table.
"It's often better to look away when he is taking on some ridiculous shot. I'd rather play Ronnie O'Sullivan than Judd at the moment."
Ricky Walden 6-3 Shaun Murphy
Chester's Ricky Walden had the most to smile about tonight as he reached his first semi-final in a British ranking event with a commanding 6-3 win over 2008 UK champion Shaun Murphy. 2-2 at the interval Walden recorded a 67 to go one clear and the help of a 55 break gave him a 4-2 lead. In the final frame Murphy missed a shocker of a green which let Walden in to make a 71 to win the match. The win means Ricky is the only qualifier through to the semi-finals.
Ricky Walden had an amazing run in 2008 to win the Shanghai Masters beating Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-8 in the final to win his only ranking event and since then hasn't managed to kick off in the game. A brief appearance in the top 16 only saw him drop out shortly afterwards but now after reaching a final of a PTC event and recording his first competitive 147 he looks to be back in fine form and he will take some beating in the semi-final.
Ricky - "It was a scrappy start to the game and I was delighted to go to the interval at 2-2, after that I played really well. The green Shaun missed when he had a chance to get to 4-3 was massive. I was looking over at the other table and thinking about the next frame.
"Towards the end I was trusting my cue action but I was a bit nervous. It does help that I've won a tournament before because I can draw on those memories, especially as I have beaten the top players in the past. It means everything for me to get to the semi-finals because I've been working hard throughout my career. I still want to go further."
Mark Allen 6-5 Marco Fu (Photo - On Q Promotions)
Northern Ireland's current no.1 Mark Allen reached his second consecutive UK Championship semi-final after coming through in a close fought encounter 6-5 with Marco Fu. Allen led 2-0 then Fu recovered going in to the interval 2-2 with top runs of 73 and 68. A respotted black followed in the next frame and Allen doubled it the length of the table in to the bottom right pocket to take a 3-2 lead. Former Grand Prix champion Fu came back to lead 5-4 with top breaks of 132, 63 and 58. Allen won the next with a 66 to force the decider and a crucial break of 55 was enough for Allen to win the match in the end.
Mark Allen and his comments about World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has been the main foucs by the general media this week but he showed today that he can put that behind him and still perform strongly out in the arena. Allen is now into his 6th ranking event semi-final and has never progressed further before, can he do it on Saturday against Ricky Walden?
Mark - "I thought I was in control at 4-2 up, but in the end I had to dig really deep and play a good last two frames. My safety was as good as it's ever been and that's what got me through. I haven't played that well in my three matches here but I have matured as a player and I have a better all round game than I did in the past.
"Ricky is playing well, he is a tournament winner who has shown he can play well on the big occasion."
FULL DRAW & RESULTS