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Xu Si continues fairy-tale run to set up Indian Open Semi-Final show-down with Higgins

Jonathan Davies in Indian Open

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Live Snooker on Friday: Indian Open 2017 Day Four preview and order of play

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Anthony McGill v Mark King: Indian Open Semi-Final 2017 preview – Scotsman closing in on successful title defence

Chinese prodigy Xu is just two wins away from a remarkable victory in India (credit:World Snooker)

Xu Si will play John Higgins in the semi-finals of the 2017 Indian Open following a comprehensive 4-0 whitewash of David Gilbert on Friday, while Mark King and reigning champion Anthony McGill completed the Last-Four line-up in Vishakhapatnam.

Having only turned professional at the start of this season, the 19-year-old Chinese cueist extended his best-ever run in a ranking event with two more impressive victories on day four.

Earlier on Friday, Xu ousted 2015 finalist Ricky Walden in a deciding frame to set up a clash with Gilbert, who had beaten Mark Allen 4-1 in the Last 16.

However, it was all very much one-way traffic as the youngster outscored the world number 21 by 299 points to 40 – hitting breaks of 72, 52 and 60 along the way – and move to within two wins of a fairy-tale success.

His reward is a showdown with four-time World champion Higgins, who also enjoyed a commanding 4-0 rout of Liam Highfield.

Reigning champion McGill remained on course for back-to-back titles (Getty Images)

The world number 68 was appearing in the quarter-finals of a ranking event for the first time, but saw two closely fought frames go against him on the colours.

World number three Higgins, who was also in uncharted territory in India having never been past the Last 16 prior to this week, gradually got stronger – producing a wonderful break of 122 to move to the brink of victory, which he secured with a further run of 57.

Meanwhile, McGill remained on course for back-to-back titles after another dominant 4-0 success against a first-time ranking quarter-finalist in Zhang Anda.

China’s Zhang had edged out Ken Doherty in a deciding frame earlier on, but was outclassed in the Last Eight, as McGill outscored him 326 points to 39 – making runs of 57, 62 and 74 on the way to advancing.

The Scotsman will play King in the semi-finals after the Romford cueist enjoyed a 4-2 win over Elliot Slessor, who beat Shaun Murphy to secure maiden appearance in the Last Eight of a ranking event.

Northern Ireland Open winner King came into the showdown off the back of a dramatic 4-3 victory over Stuart Bingham on the final black, and won three of the first four frames to take a commanding 3-1 lead.

World number 85 Slessor responded with 68 to stay alive, but a magnificent break of 110 was enough to see the 43-year-old over the line.

Indian Open 2017 Results

 

Friday September 15

Last 16

Anthony McGill 4-1 Hossein Vafaei

Zhang Anda 4-3 Ken Doherty

Stuart Bingham 3-4 Mark King

Xu Si 4-3 Ricky Walden

Elliot Slessor 4-1 Shaun Murphy

David Gilbert 4-1 Mark Allen

Liam Highfield 4-2 Akani Songsermsawad

Michael Holt 1-4 John Higgins

Quarter-Finals

Anthony McGill 4-0 Zhang Anda

Mark King 4-2 Elliot Slessor

Xu Si 4-0 David Gilbert

Liam Highfield 0-4 John Higgins