Zhao Xintong - Ricky Walden
Mark Allen 4-6 Yan Bingtao
Top 10 shots of 2021/22: No. 4 – Yan enjoys deadly double in Berlin
We will be back at 1pm GMT on Sunday for Yan v Zhao from the Tempodrom in Berlin. Another all-Chinese ranking final nine years after Ding Junhui defeated Xiao Guodong 10-6 in the final of the Shanghai Masters.
Mark Allen 4-5 Yan Bingtao (52-71)
Allen had his chance. Missed a cut on the pink to middle and Yan responded by slamming the pink into the yellow pocket. Brilliant pot. It will be Yan against Zhao Xintong in an all-Chinese final on Sunday. First to nine frames will be champion. Should be a riveting showpiece occasion in Berlin.
Mark Allen 4-5 Yan Bingtao (52-65)
Well, all going off out there. Yan misses attempt to hit blue over pocket via baulk cushion after being snookered behind black. Allen back to 18 points behind. Pots blue, but then misses pink to middle. Allen still needing pink and black to force a re-spotted black. Yan just the pink.
Mark Allen 4-5 Yan Bingtao (42-65)
But he goes around the back of the blue seconds later. And suddenly Allen needs a snooker. Looks all over. Been going for three hours out there.
Mark Allen 4-5 Yan Bingtao (42-60)
Well, Yan getting joy from snookers on the blue. And he leads by 18 points with 18 remaining. Allen clinging on by his fingertips as Yan narrowly fails to see a long double on the blue drop.
Mark Allen 4-5 Yan Bingtao (38-50)
Some heroic potting by Yan to level up the scores, but brown is key ball in this frame. Some stunning potting as mid-range yellow and green drop.
Mark Allen 4-5 Yan Bingtao (38-18)
Stalemate ends as Allen fails to slot a mid-range red, but then Yan declares a foul on himself for touching a white or a red. Allen adds a red, but misses a tricky black. All getting a bit nervy out there. Perhaps predictably.
Mark Allen 4-5 Yan Bingtao (29-1)
Allen tries to drop in a black, but object ball stays in the jaws. Missed chance for 'The Pistol'. Not left much on, but with black over the bag, this could be extended safety duel.
Mark Allen 4-5 Yan Bingtao (5-1)
Off we go then with the 10th frame of a possible 11. Yan picks out a plant on red, but can't punch in green to a centre pocket. Chance passes to Allen.
Mark Allen 3-5 Yan Bingtao (45-16)
Allen tidies up the balls he needs to keep alive this match. Back to 5-4 adrift. Can Allen force the deciding frame?
Mark Allen 3-5 Yan Bingtao (45-16)
Well, a missed black from Allen off the spot. That really is an error. What will Yan make from this? And the answer is..not much. 16 before he can't hole a tough black off a side cushion.
Mark Allen 3-5 Yan Bingtao (29-0)
Real blunder in baulk from Yan. Not sure if he was trying a pot, but he collides with the reds. Allen rolls in 29 before running safe.
Mark Allen 3-5 Yan Bingtao (1-0)
Mark Allen 3-4 Yan Bingtao (49-58)
Could be a huge steal coming up for Yan again. Looked like going 4-4, but colours needed for 5-3. And a 28-minute frame falls to Yan on the final black. Allen missed cut on a pink needing colour and red for frame, but has lost it. Right up against it now.
Mark Allen 3-4 Yan Bingtao (35-15)
Bout of safety ends with Yan attempting a long red. Nowhere near the pot and Allen gifted an easy opener, but he can only add six more points before a red to centre stays out.
Mark Allen 3-4 Yan Bingtao (29-15)
Yan first to punch, but butchers an attempt at black to hand the initiative to Allen, who rolls in 29 before running safe.
Mark Allen 3-4 Yan Bingtao (0-14)
Mark Allen 2-4 Yan Bingtao (104-0)
A rousing break of 104, his second century of the night, and he is right in the fight for that final spot.
Mark Allen 2-4 Yan Bingtao (83-0)
Exceptional response from Allen. He is going to take out this frame in one hit after early mistake by Yan.
Mark Allen 2-4 Yan Bingtao (0-0)
In goes the pink for Yan and up goes another frame. A third straight frame against Allen. He is 4-2 behind as Yan closes in on a final meeting with his friend Zhao Xintong.
Mark Allen 2-3 Yan Bingtao (59-46)
Yan gets out of a tough snooker at the third attempt before Allen somehow overcuts a red to a centre pocket. Leaves the red on and glorious chance for Yan to move 4-2 to the good.
Mark Allen 2-3 Yan Bingtao (46-46)
46 from Yan before he misses a tricky red down a side cushion. Reprieve for Allen.
Mark Allen 2-3 Yan Bingtao (46-8)
Yan slots a fabulous long red and has chance of a counter attack.
Mark Allen 2-3 Yan Bingtao (46-0)
Fine long red by Allen and he looks to be right in the groove as break reaches 40. Hits the yellow going in and off baulk off the blue and is out of position. Finishes with a nice safety shot on 46.
Mark Allen 2-3 Yan Bingtao (0-0)
Break of 53 from Yan is plenty to see off the fifth frame. Allen the aggressor in this match, but not making the running and is being picked off by Yan, who is halfway to the winning total in this semi-final.
Mark Allen 2-2 Yan Bingtao (0-32)
Yan with a slender lead early in this fifth frame. Bout of safety before Yan slots a cut on a red after Allen slipped up pushing the boat out. In goes the black with a fine cut and he has an obvious chance to establish a solid advantage at this visit.
Mark Allen 2-1 Yan Bingtao (5-116)
A glorious break of 116 from Yan. We are level at 2-2 in this semi-final. Probably right result at this stage. 15-minute break for mid-session interval.
Mark Allen 2-1 Yan Bingtao (0-104)
Could be a century coming up from Yan? And is. This has been an exquisite break in the circumstances. We are heading for 2-2.
Mark Allen 2-1 Yan Bingtao (0-36)
Yan given early chance to level us up at the mid-session interval. Long red fails to drop for Allen and has set up his fellow former Masters holder.
Mark Allen 1-1 Yan Bingtao (58-50)
Brilliant double on yellow before Allen takes out the colours up to the pink for a 2-1 advantage. Superb piece of opportunism from the Northern Irishman.
Mark Allen 1-1 Yan Bingtao (38-50)
Allen looked all set for the steal, but ends up snookering himself on the yellow from slotting the blue. A solid escape. Yan chasing yellow, green and brown for frame.
Mark Allen 1-1 Yan Bingtao (3-50)
Well, that is astonishing. Yan missing a sitter of a pink. He can't believe that. Life in the old frame yet.
Mark Allen 1-1 Yan Bingtao (2-50)
Lovely long red from Yan. Real trademark pot and enough reds in the open to put this third frame to bed.
Mark Allen 1-1 Yan Bingtao (1-34)
Yan with 34 at the outset of the third frame before a red to a green pocket stays out. Wasn't easy, but he will be disappointed not to make more from that visit.
Mark Allen 1-0 Yan Bingtao (35-77)
Yan misses yellow off spot, but it runs safe behind green. Allen somehow misses the yellow off two cushions with white dropping down a centre pocket. Bizarre outcome before the Chinese player clears up to the pink to level the match at 1-1. Allen left to rue what might have been.
Mark Allen 1-0 Yan Bingtao (35-53)
So unfortunate for Allen as he suffers a kick trying to hole a pink to a centre pocket. Understandably bemused by seeing the pink connect with the jaws rather than drop, but Yan breaks down in failing to slot a pink to a middle seconds later. Yan looks baffled, but Allen can only add one as blue hangs over a pocket.
Mark Allen 1-0 Yan Bingtao (14-31)
Yan putting 31 points on the board, but gives eight right back before hitting the pack of reds off side cushion. Allen then slots a nice mid-range red after a safety error by Yan.
Mark Allen 1-0 Yan Bingtao (0-9)
Poor safety shot by Allen leaves a red hanging over a centre pocket. Easy chance for Yan to get his cue arm working.
Mark Allen 1-0 Yan Bingtao (0-0)
A break of 75 from Allen. Green stayed out as he looked set to compile 100, but he will be happy with that effort. Looks in fine fettle.
Mark Allen 0-0 Yan Bingtao (81-7)
The Northern Irishman already well over the line in this opener. Sending a message to Yan that he is ready to capitalise on any chances that come his way.
Mark Allen 0-0 Yan Bingtao (51-7)
Lovely red to a middle bag from Allen seconds later and this is chance to win the first frame at only his second scoring visit.
Mark Allen 0-0 Yan Bingtao (32-7)
Allen tries to split the pack of reds with white, but can't land on a red. Unfortunate. Just the safety shot coming up.
Mark Allen 0-0 Yan Bingtao (6-7)
Yan first in with a long red, but only a pink follows as a red stays out. Early chance for Allen to compile a few points of his own.
Mark Allen 0-0 Yan Bingtao (0-0)
Allen breaks off this second semi-final. First to six frames secures a meeting with Zhao Xintong in the final on Sunday.
Zhao Xintong 6-3 Ricky Walden
Walden one pot short of leading 4-1, but that missed green was a turning point. Massive error. He pays a heavy penalty as Zhao completes a 6-3 victory from 3-1 behind. Breaks of 78 65, 72 and 100 from Zhao and 74, 66 and 60 from Walden in a fine match.
Zhao will face Mark Allen or Yan Bingtao in the final over the best of 17 frames on Sunday. We will return for Allen v Yan in the second semi-final at 7pm.
Zhao Xintong 5-3 Ricky Walden (100-0)
Zhao despatching balls with so much ease. Could finish this match off with a century? And is the ton of 100. Stunning level of positional play. A 6-3 victory for Zhao.
Zhao Xintong 5-3 Ricky Walden (17-0)
Would be easy to say Walden must embark upon no-miss snooker, but there has been plenty of misses today from both men. Zhao floats in a long red to land on the black. Will this be the frame-winning thrust?
Zhao Xintong 4-3 Ricky Walden (94-10)
Zhao is going to be two frames clear with a possible three to play. Walden wasteful at key points today. A break of 72 from the UK champion. He leads 5-3.
Zhao Xintong 4-3 Ricky Walden (53-10)
Zhao picking off the reds, but then misses another pink to the same centre pocket that cost him in the fourth frame. Chance for Walden, but he can't slot a pink to a middle bag with balls there for taking seconds later. Looking a bit anxious out there. Walden suffering at wrong time. Could be facing a 5-3 deficit.
Zhao Xintong 4-3 Ricky Walden (9-1)
Three straight frames from Zhao. This all looking a bit ominous for Walden after he was only a ball short of leading 4-1.
Zhao Xintong 3-3 Ricky Walden (83-0)
A lead of 64 from Xintong, but he breaks down again at key moment as a black off the spot doesn't drop. Walden tries to punish, but this time a tricky red down length of table rattles in the yellow pocket jaws. Will be a 4-3 advantage for Zhao.
Zhao Xintong 3-3 Ricky Walden (44-0)
Walden wilting at the wrong time and Zhao with chance to lead for the first time in this semi-final. Looks to be a clear run to winning line, but we've said that before a few times today.
Zhao Xintong 2-3 Ricky Walden (90-31)
Another poor positional shot by Zhao on 65. Only needed one more ball. Can Walden pinch this one against the odds? Brilliant opening red has given him the chance, but he misses the final red to a centre pocket. 34 points in it, 35 left up before Zhao snookers his opponent. Walden escapes, but leaves the red. And we are heading 3-3.
Zhao Xintong 2-3 Ricky Walden (65-1)
Walden sees a cut on black hang in the pocket. Another unforced error from the Chester man. Zhao sizes up the prey to reach 51 without too many problems. Slides in a nice red to land on blue and this match looks like going 3-3.
Zhao Xintong 2-3 Ricky Walden (0-0)
Huge difference between 3-2 and 4-1. What effect will that frame have on the mindset of this match?
Zhao Xintong 1-3 Ricky Walden (63-60)
Quite ruthless break-building from Walden, but he then misses the green off the spot on 60. Was a thin cut, but bad error. Zhao clips home green, brown, blue, pink and black to steal the frame from nowhere. That was a truly astonishing finale to the frame.
Zhao Xintong 1-3 Ricky Walden (38-8)
Only 38 from Zhao among the balls. Misses thin cut on a red to a centre pocket. Disappointing end to that break. Will Walden again launch a timely counter attack here?
Zhao Xintong 1-3 Ricky Walden (33-0)
Zhao comes out cutting an eager figure in the fifth frame. Lovely long red to gain access to the table. Berlin audience revelling in this semi-final.
Zhao Xintong 1-3 Ricky Walden (0-0)
Walden chasing his first appearance in a ranking event final since losing 10-4 to Judd Trump in the final of the China Open in 2016. Looking good so far.
Zhao Xintong 1-2 Ricky Walden (51-66)
This has been a cool and calculated response from Walden. A lovely run of 66 from Walden to the pink heavily punishes the missed pink by Zhao. He leads 3-1 at the mid-session interval.
Zhao Xintong 1-2 Ricky Walden (51-23)
Bad miss by Zhao on a pink to a centre pocket when he looked on cusp of frame. Chance for the Walden counter attack.
Zhao Xintong 1-2 Ricky Walden (22-0)
Zhao showing some delightful touches around the black spot before he is forced to declare holding a 39-0 lead.
Zhao Xintong 1-2 Ricky Walden (22-0)
Zhao first among the balls in the fourth frame after another safety blunder by Walden.
Zhao Xintong 0-2 Ricky Walden (78-14)
Just needs to make sure of a red with rest along top cushion. Which he does. Zhao putting his first frame of the match on the board. A classy run of 78. He trails 2-1.
Zhao Xintong 0-2 Ricky Walden (51-14)
Error by Walden attempting to run safe has presented Zhao with a decent chance to find his stroke. Could be a few points compiled here.
Zhao Xintong 0-2 Ricky Walden (0-14)
Walden looking the slightly more assured player at the moment. Would dearly love another frame to guarantee the lead at the mid-session interval.
Zhao Xintong 0-1 Ricky Walden (45-42)
Walden overcooks the yellow with screw, but recovers superbly well with the rest on green. In goes the brown, blue and pink. That is 2-0 to Walden. A confident start by world number 24 Walden in less than 30 minutes.
Zhao Xintong 0-1 Ricky Walden (45-42)
Zhao making heavy weather of this. Ends up out of position and misses long red to green pocket. Walden given a massive let-off. Can he take advantage?
Zhao Xintong 0-1 Ricky Walden (32-38)
Zhao sees a tricky red to a centre pocket fail to drop. Walden handed an early reprieve. Probably didn't expect to be back at the table so soon, but Walden then slips up on a red to middle in opposite bag. That could be fatal to Walden in this frame.
Zhao Xintong 0-1 Ricky Walden (0-17)
Zhao missed a black at short range in the first frame, but Walden then misses a black off the spot in the second frame in 17. Bad, bad miss. Zhao handed a chance for immediate retribution.
Zhao Xintong 0-0 Ricky Walden (9-74)
A fine break of 74 from Walden to get his day started in style. He leads 1-0.
Zhao Xintong 0-0 Ricky Walden (9-56)
Walden making a fast start to the day as he quickly reaches 56 before a bewitched Berlin audience. If London is raucous at the Masters, this is respectful in comparison but no less passionate about the potting.
Zhao Xintong 0-0 Ricky Walden (0-0)
First man to six frames reaches the final in its 12th staging as a ranking event at the Tempodrom. Only the second meeting of these players. Zhao won the first meeting 4-3 in the first round of the Indian Open in 2019. Will not have much impact on this encounter.
GOOD AFTERNOON AND WELCOME BACK
It is semi-final day at the Tempodrom in Berlin. 2,500-capacity arena ready to host UK champion Zhao Xintong against Ricky Walden at 1pm GMT today before Mark Allen and Yan Bingtao meet this evening at 7pm. A new winner of the trophy is guaranteed on Sunday when the £80,000 first prize is doled out in the German capital. Stay with us for LIVE updates.
'Best venue in the world' – Zhao Xintong hails Berlin Tempodrom as snooker's greatest arena
The teeming Tempodrom in Berlin is the greatest venue in world snooker, according to China's top-ranked player Zhao Xintong.
The world number nine enjoyed a surprisingly comfortable evening at the 2,500-capacity arena on Friday in ending Judd Trump's bid for a third straight German Masters title with a 5-1 win.
Breaks 57, 57, 59, 58, 52 and 84 saw the free-wheeling UK champion ease through in style to secure a best-of-11 frame semi-final meeting with the rejuvenated three-times ranking event winner Ricky Walden on Saturday afternoon (1pm GMT LIVE on Eurosport).
A sell-out crowd is expected for the weekend in the German capital and Zhao is grateful for the opportunity to revel in the atmospheric one-table green baize experience of Berlin.
“I am so happy to be in the semi-finals in the best venue in the world," said 24-year-old Zhao. "I hope that I can play well and I will enjoy it.
“It is amazing. I can’t believe it. When I got the last frame (against Judd Trump) I didn’t think I’d won. I had to check it wasn’t a best of 11 game. I am very happy."
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