Mark Williams emerged from a quarter-final slog against Ricky Walden with a 4-3 win to progress to the last four of the British Open at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Walden compiled runs of 68, 78, 53 and 56, but failed to hold his nerve in the deciding frame as Williams, a British Open winner back in 1997, emerged from a quarter-final he scarcely deserved to win.
The 46-year-old Williams led 1-0 and 2-1 but Walden's superior control of the cue ball saw him fashion a 3-2 lead as he targeted a 10th ranking event semi-final of his career. However, Williams, while out of sorts, managed to send the match to a decider.
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The 2018 world champion continued to struggle to contain the cue ball and had looked set to depart at the quarter-final stage when Walden sized up match-ball pink to the centre pocket, leading 56-13.
Yet, Walden, who beat John Higgins in round three, rattled the jaws to leave a pretty presentable table. Williams would eventually get over the line – albeit in two visits – to progress to the last four.
The Welsh Potting Machine will return to the table at 21:00, where he will face Jimmy Robertson, who beat Lu Ning 4-2 in the other quarter-final. The Welshman, though, was in a sombre mood after the win.
“I don’t think I am winning them, they [other players] are losing them,” said Williams.
I can’t pot three balls on the bounce but I am still here, still fighting. Somehow I am in the semi-final of a ranking event – don’t ask me how.
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David Gilbert’s bid to back up his win in the Championship League ended in disappointment, as Gary Wilson fought back to edge their quarter final 4-3.
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Gilbert dominated the match but he passed up a big chance to go 3-1 ahead when missing a red into the middle.
After Wilson cleared up to level, Gilbert responded in brilliant fashion with a century to move 3-2 in front.
But again Wilson hit back and the nail was struck into Gilbert’s coffin when the latter missed an easy black with the rest.
Wilson's opponent in the semi-finals will be Elliot Slessor who got the better of Zhou Yuelong in an epic tussle that finished 4-3 to the Englishman.
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