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Resurgent Saengkham stuns Higgins to reach Scottish Open final

Jonathan Davies in Scottish Open

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John Higgins v Noppon Saengkham live stream | Scottish Open Semi-Final preview

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Gary Wilson retains Scottish Open crown after sinking Noppon Saengkham

Higgins congratulates an emotional Saengkham in Edinburgh

Noppon Saengkham is through to his first ranking final after producing an inspired turnaround to stun John Higgins 6-3 on Saturday.

The popular Thai set up a Sunday showpiece with Gary Wilson, who edged out Zhou Yuelong on a re-spotted black at the Meadowbank Sports Centre in Edinburgh.

Saengkham looked like his wait to reach a ranking final would go on as he trailed 3-1 against home favourite Higgins.

However, the world number 26 reeled off five successive frames – hitting two centuries along the way – for an emotional victory.

Two-time Scottish Open runner-up Higgins was looking to make it third time lucky in his home event.

After the first two frames were shared, he took control of the contest with brilliant breaks of 130 and 92 for a 3-1 lead at the interval.

It looked like he would make it 4-1 on 53 in frame five. However, he missed a tricky pink to the right centre and it changed the whole complexion of the match.

Saengkham superbly cleared with 32 to halve the deficit on the black, before a wonderful 133 total clearance levelled matters at 3-3.

The Thai then cleared from the last red to the pink to edge his nose ahead for the first time, while a marvellous break of 120 put him on the brink of victory.

Higgins looked to respond in the next frame, but ran out of position on 35. He was ruthlessly punished as an 83 clearance got an emotional Saengkham over the line and into the final.

There, he will meet Wilson after the reigning champion recovered from 5-3 down and from requiring three snookers in the decider to seal a dramatic win over Zhou.

The first four frames were shared with Zhou’s 106 cancelled out by an 88 from Wilson. The Chinese took control after the interval, winning three of the next four frames with runs of 56 and 77 along the way.

But having won each of his last 12 matches in this event, the Tyneside Terror was not going to go down without a fight and breaks of 122 and 54 forced a decider.

Zhou was pegged back from 4-1 up before edging out Stuart Bingham 5-4 in the quarter-finals, and it looked like he had held himself together once again with a contribution of 69.

The Chinese was seemingly over the line and punched the air with Wilson needing three snookers. But the defending champion acquired them and cleared from blue to black to force a re-spot, which he eventually sunk to the right centre and let out a huge roar as he secured a remarkable victory.

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Scottish Open 2023 | Semi-Final Results

Saturday December 16

Gary Wilson 6-5 Zhou Yuelong
John Higgins 3-6 Noppon Saengkham