Multiple World Champions Mark Selby and John Higgins progressed to the Semi-Finals of the 2018 China Championship in Guangzhou on Friday and were joined by young Chinese duo Zhao Xintong and Lyu Haotian.
Higgins, the inaugural China Champion two years ago, recorded a fourth straight win over Judd Trump to book his place in the Last Four of the £725,000 major.
Higgins, whose last clash with Trump saw him emerge a 13-12 winner from an epic World Championship Quarter-Final in April, took the first frame before the left-hander levelled.
A break of 61 moved Higgins 2-1 in front but back-to-back breaks of 55 and 50 saw Trump turn the tide.
Higgins clinched a pivotal sixth frame by 79 points to 69 before following in with a 79 break to regain command and duly clinching victory in frame eight.
The four-time World Champion will now meet Haotian in Saturday’s opening Semi-Final after the 20-year-old overcame Martin O’Donnell 5-1 to reach only his second ranking Semi.
Lyu began the match in clinical fashion, storming into a 3-0 lead thanks to breaks of 102, 57 and 124.
O’Donnell got off the mark in style with a fine break of 93 before the interval, but the home-grown talent edged frame five and added a break of 58 in the sixth to complete a convincing victory.
World number one Selby ended the run of 18-year-old giant-killer Yuan Sijun with a 5-2 victory.
Yuan had knocked out Ding Junhui and Mark King en route to the Last Eight but the three-time World Champion proved a bridge too far for the raw teenage talent.
Selby established a 2-0 lead before Yuan replied with breaks of 54 and 68 to level at the interval.
Selby, though, upped the ante with consecutive breaks of 86, 64 and 70 to move through to his first ranking Semi-Final since April’s China Open.
Highly-rated youngster Zhao continued his ground-breaking run with a 5-4 victory over Barry Hawkins to reach his first ranking Semi-Final.
The world number 97, who regained a Tour Card at Qualifying School in May, followed up his shock wins over Anthony McGill and Mark Williams earlier in the week with another eye-catching performance.
It was Hawkins, however, who settled the quicker of the two and took the first frame before compiling a break of 69 to double his advantage.
A 52 break saw Zhao open his account, and though he made a 56 frame four, it proved insufficient as Hawkins overturned the deficit with a 52 to snatch the frame 73-68 and lead 3-1.
Zhao pegged back and followed up with a clinical break of 86 to draw level, but back came the Shanghai Masters runner-up with a break of 85 to lead again.
Incredibly, though, that would prove Hawkins final contribution in the tournament as Zhao force a decider with a rapid break of 94 before keeping the Kent cueist in his seat again with an 82 to seal another memorable win.
China Championship 2018 Results
Friday September 28
Martin O’Donnell 1-5 Lyu Haotian
Judd Trump 3-5 John Higgins
Mark Selby 5-2 Yuan Sijun
Barry Hawkins 4-5 Zhao Xintong