The Semi-Final line-up will be completed following a mouth-watering double-header at The 2019 Masters on Friday as four of snooker’s biggest hitters lock horns.
Seven-time Masters Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and 2011 Masters winner Ding Junhui safely secured their passage to the Last Four on Thursday, leaving a quartet of multiple ranking title winners to battle it out for the right to join them.
The pick of the Quarter-Final ties sees world number one Mark Selby take on Northern Ireland Open champion Judd Trump in the afternoon session.
Selby is bidding for a fourth Masters title since landing his first in 2008, going on to claim glory in 2010 and 2013, while also finishing runner-up in 2009 and 2014.
Selby’s world number one ranking has come under threat for the first time in four years after a shock First Round exit at the UK Championship and ‘The Jester’ will be determined to recapture his best form at the first time of asking in 2019.
The three-time World Champion has produced his best performances in China over the past 12 months, winning the China Open and China Championship, but got off to a flier at Alexandra Palace by compiling three centuries a further two 90+ breaks in a 6-2 win over Stephen Maguire.
Any repeat of that ruthless form could spell danger for Trump – who is out to move a step closer to a first Masters crown to add to his UK Championship triumph in 2011.
Trump, who made his debut in the Wildcard Round a decade ago, is making his ninth appearance at The Masters and is a three-time semi-finalist.
He opened up with a crushing 6-2 victory over rival Kyren Wilson on Wednesday and now faces ‘The Jester’ in a televised tournament for the first time since 2016.
The fourth Quarter-Final sees two granite left-handers collide as 2012 Masters Champion Neil Robertson meets 2016 runner-up Barry Hawkins.
Robertson produced a clinical comeback from 3-1 down to defeat World Champion Mark Williams 6-3 on Tuesday, making it eight consecutive First Round wins at The Masters.
Winner of the first ranking event of the season – the Riga Masters – Robertson has gone on to finish runner-up in the International Championship, but they are the only occasions he has surpassed the Last 16 stage of a ranking tournament so far this term.
The Australian has won six of his ten previous meetings with Hawkins, though it was ‘The Hawk’ who came out on top 10-8 in their most recent encounter – in the Semi-Finals of the 2018 China Open.
Hawkins was on the wrong end of a 10-1 rout at the hands of Ronnie O’Sullivan in the 2016 final – the most emphatic final scoreline ever recorded in the 45-year history of The Masters.
The world number seven was a semi-finalist in last year’s World Championship and has since reached the Shanghai Masters final but has not progressed beyond the Last 16 stage of any tournament since September.
Hawkins made a commanding start to his Ally Pally campaign by brushing aside 2015 champion Shaun Murphy 6-2, notably racing into a 5-0 lead.
The action gets underway from 1pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of 11 frames.
The Masters 2019 Match Schedule
Friday January 18
Mark Selby v Judd Trump
Barry Hawkins v Neil Robertson