Reuters

Judd Trump beats Neil Robertson as centuries fly in Masters classic; Bingham downs Higgins

Trump beats Robertson in Masters classic as world champion Bingham downs Higgins

16/01/2016 at 09:46Updated 16/01/2016 at 10:20

Judd Trump came out on top of an epic clash between two of the world's best players as he earned a semi-final spot at The Masters in London, while world champion Stuart Bingham also made the last four by beating John Higgins.

The match see-sawed relentlessly before Trump clinched a 6-5 win at Alexandra Palace thanks to a magnificent break of 129 in the final frame.

But that clearance was in doubt just as Trump approached frame ball, the Bristolian appearing to block himself from the potting angle for a red that was close to the middle pocket.

Trump swerved the cue ball around the ball, calling out in joy as the pot dropped and going on to clinch a memorable win in a match which saw an absolutely outstanding standard of snooker.

An amazing six centuries were scored in the 11-frame clash, with world number three Robertson's 139 in the third frame setting the highest of the tournament so far - only for Trump to eclipse it with his fourth of the match, a 140 three frames from the end.

"That's probably the best I've ever played on the big stage," admitted Trump, the world number five and a former World Championship finalist and UK Championship winner.

In the evening session, world champion Stuart Bingham played beat a canny tactical match to overpower John Higgins and book a spot in the semi-finals.

The match was hard-fought at the outset, with Bingham and Higgins sharing four hard-fought opening frames.

Thereafter, however, Bingham bever looked back, producing breaks of 83 and 70 as he won the next three frames to get to within one frame of the semis.

Higgins got it back to 5-3 with a fluent 120, and was still in it when Bingham ran out of position after getting a good start with a break of 48 in the next.

But the Scot failed to take advantage of his opponent's slip-up, and a loose safety shot opened things up for Bingham to get over the line in setting up a semi-final meeting with Ronnie O'Sullivan - eight months after he ousted the tournament favourite in the World Championshup last eight.

"John didn’t look himself tonight, he was shaking his head at the table and looking for problems,” said Bingham. “When it was 2-2 at the interval I wondered if I had missed my opportunity. I pulled out some good clearances and played well though I feel I’ve got a lot left in the tank.

“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow night. To play Ronnie in London in the semis of the Masters, that’s what you pick up a cue for. I know I can beat him in big matches. He looked good yesterday against Mark Selby so I’ve got to play ten times better, but I’ve got a chance and I’ll be out to enjoy it.”

Results/schedule

First round (best of 11 frames)

Sunday January 10

Shaun Murphy 4-6 Mark Allen

Stuart Bingham 6-4 Ding Junhui

Monday January 11

Judd Trump 6-4 Stephen Maguire

Barry Hawkins 6-3 Joe Perry

Tuesday January 12

Afternoon session (1pm)

Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-5 Mark Williams

Evening session (7pm)

Mark Selby 6-0 Rick Walden

Wednesday January 13

Afternoon session (1pm)

John Higgins 6-4 Liang Wenbo

Evening session (7pm)

Neil Robertson 6-0 Marco Fu

Thursday, January 14

Quarter-finals (best of 11 frames)

Afternoon session (1pm)

Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-3 Mark Selby

Evening session (7pm)

Mark Allen 2-6 Barry Hawkins

Friday, January 15

Afternoon session (1pm)

Judd Trump 6-5 Neil Robertson

Evening session (7pm)

Stuart Bingham 3-6 John Higgins

Saturday, January 16

Semi-finals (best of 11 frames)

Afternoon session (1pm)

Judd Trump v Barry Hawkins

Evening session (7pm)

Ronnie O'Sullivan v Stuart Bingham

Sunday, January 17

Final (best of 19 frames)

Afternoon session (1pm)

Trump/Hawkins v O'Sullivan/Bingham

Evening session (7pm)

Trump/Hawkins v O'Sullivan/Bingham

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