Judd Trump put in a mixed display as he struggled into the German Masters semi-finals with a 5-3 win over Ding Junhui.
The match will be remembered for a moment of inspiration in the second frame when the world number one manoeuvred the cue ball up and down the table to remove a red from the cushion and into easy potting territory.
But it was an otherwise disjointed display from the defending champion, who saw his early 3-0 lead cut to 3-2 and then 4-3, with Ding left to rue his slow start.
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Ding had warned his rival before the match that he was out to end his 13-month wait for a snooker title, but back-to-back breaks of 83 and 93 were not enough to inspire a comeback.
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Trump will meet Barry Hawkins in the last four in Milton Keynes, which is again playing stand-in host.
The 31-year-old, who missed the Masters earlier this month after testing positive for Covid-19, has already won the English Open, Northern Ireland Open and World Grand Prix this season.
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