Bingham maintains Masters title defence as Gilbert also seals Semi-Final spot
Reigning champion Stuart Bingham stretched his unbeaten run at The Masters to six matches with a 6-3 win over Shaun Murphy in the Quarter-Finals, while David Gilbert edged out Kyren Wilson.
Bingham, bidding to become only the fifth player to successfully retain this title, punished an out of sorts Murphy to seal his spot in Saturday’s Semi-Finals.
The pair, who contested the 2015 World Championship final, went to the interval level at two apiece, before Bingham clinched four of the next five frames to progress.
“We were both losing position quickly but I’m happy to get into the Semi-Finals again,” admitted Bingham.
“I was just trying to put a smile on my face and enjoy the battle, it won’t always smell of roses but you just have to try and battle through and try and click when you get your chance.
“It was a slog all the way through.”
An error-strewn opening frame went the way of Murphy before Bingham levelled sensationally with a clearance of 133.
Murphy made a 51 break in regaining the lead before Bingham narrowly edged frame four to restore parity.
Bingham hit the front courtesy of a clinical break of 91 and dominated the following frame to move 4-2 ahead.
Runs of 70 and 51 in frame seven saw Murphy stay in touch but it was Bingham who dug deep to win two lengthy, tactical frames to get himself over the line.
Earlier in the day, Gilbert booked his place in a second successive Betfred Masters Semi-Final after a hard-fought deciding frame win over 2018 finalist Wilson.
Wilson fired in a brace of centuries but Gilbert hung in and ground out victory despite a high break of just 67.
He will now meet either Ronnie O’Sullivan or John Higgins in the Last Four, and admitted: “Kyren is a tough competitor, he played much better than me but I kept nicking frames.
“I thought I was going to win in one clean visit but miscued and then he missed the pink to middle – I could have stripped off and run around the table when he did that.
“I felt really good at the end, I would have liked to have finished off in style but I will take that. I am proud of myself for sticking in there.”
Wilson took the first frame with a break of 60 before Gilbert equalised with a 58 break.
Former Crucible semi-finalist Gilbert then sealed frame three on a re-spotted black, but Wilson hit back strongly with a break of 114 for parity.
The next two frames were shared before Wilson made his fourth century of the tournament with a 107 to make it four apiece.
The world number six continued to turn the screw as he followed in with a break of 80, but Gilbert dusted himself down and made a 67 break to force a decider.
The Tamworth ace was clinical when presented with a chance as he closed out victory with a break of 66.
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Masters Snooker 2021 Results
Thursday January 14
David Gilbert 6-5 Kyren Wilson
Stuart Bingham 6-3 Shaun Murphy