Brilliant Yan Bingtao sees off Mark Selby to reach Champion of Champions Semi-Finals
Yan Bingtao booked his place in the Champion of Champions Semi-Finals following a 6-3 victory over Mark Selby in Bolton on Wednesday.
The reigning Masters champion progressed as the Group Two winner at the Bolton Whites Hotel, having also defeated Shaun Murphy 4-1 earlier in the day.
Yan also complied the highest break of the tournament so far courtesy of a marvellous 140 total clearance during the eighth frame of his win against Selby.
It was the 21-year-old’s second victory over the World champion in two weeks after he also prevailed on the final black in a dramatic showdown at the Northern Ireland Open.
A Champion of Champions ever-present since the inaugural event in 2013, Selby is yet to add his name to the roll of honour.
The Jester produced a trademark fightback from 3-1 down against practice partner David Gilbert earlier in the day; breaks of 79, 131 and 72 completing a wonderful turnaround.
And he pegged Yan back twice to leave the Group Two final finely poised at the mid-session interval.
The world number 12 made breaks of 88, 78 and 96 to see off Murphy earlier in the day, and a run of 76 helped him take command against Selby at 4-2 up.
The world number one hit back with a tremendous total clearance of 132, only for Yan to respond and raise the bar with a stunning break of 140.
And the Tiger required no second invitation to seal victory; a neat 78 clearance securing his spot in the semi-finals on Saturday, where he will play the winner of Group Three.
“I’m very surprised to win today because Mark Selby is a very dangerous player,” Yan told Live Snooker. “He has very good safety and control.
“I think every time I play Mark Selby will be a very difficult match, but tonight I played well.
“Being 4-3 up was no different to being 4-3 down, the match was not finished. I just made sure I was ready to play good in the next frame.
“The last frame, his safety gave me the chance and I knew it was the best chance to win the match.
“I just tried to calm down, trust myself and concentrate on every ball, and I did that.”
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