Stuart Bingham became the first man through to the Semi-Finals of the World Grand Prix after thrashing Mark Davis 4-0 in Llandudno on Friday afternoon.
Bingham produced a top break of 71 on his way to a comprehensive victory at the Venue Cymru and is on course for his fourth trophy of the season, having already won the Shanghai Masters, Haining Open and Championship League.
The players came into the contest fresh from a day’s break, but both looked incredibly rusty in the opening frame as they missed several easy chances.
It eventually came down to the black with Davis missing a tricky attempt from a tight angle and leaving it over the corner pocket, which his opponent wasted no time knocking in to take the lead.
World number 19, Davis showed great determination to knock out Neil Robertson in the last 16 but was simply not at the races this afternoon.
The man from Hastings underhit a simple opening red in the second frame and left it on for Basildon’s Bingham who was on for a maximum but broke down on 56, before adding a run of 42 to double his advantage.
This was the sixth meeting between the players in 2015 having faced off five times in the Championship League; including the final which Bingham edged 3-2.
The man nicknamed ‘Ballrun’ faced no such difficulty today though – a loose safety shot from Davis in a tight third frame allowed him to make it 3-0, before making a superb 71 clearance from 52 points behind in the next to seal his progress.
He had slightly mixed feelings about beating his good friend and believes that the first frame was crucial towards the outcome of the match.
“The scoreline is a bit flattering,” said Bingham. “It’s hard to play maybe my best friend on the tour in Mark.
“He didn’t settle and if he’d won that first frame, he could have won 4-0.
“In the end, it was quite a comfortable win and I made a good clearance to finish.”
Standing between Bingham and a place in the final will be either Ronnie O’Sullivan or Graeme Dott, and the world number nine knows he will be in for a tough match either way.
He added: “I’m very happy to get to the semis of a big tournament like this and will hopefully go further.
“I don’t care who I play – I’m still in the tournament and I’m firing.
“It’s always good to play Ronnie, but Graeme Dott’s no pushover. Whoever it is, I’ll be looking forward to tomorrow.”
By Jonathan Davies