Martin Gould continued his bid to win back-to-back titles in Berlin as he beat Ryan Day 5-2 to reach the semi-finals of the F66.com German Masters.
Gould won his maiden ranking title at the Tempodrom a year ago and is putting up an impressive defence of his crown.
Tonight’s win was particularly significant for the 35-year-old Londoner as it secured him a place in next week’s Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in Preston. Gould arrived in Berlin knowing he had to reach the last four in order to climb into the top 32 of the one year ranking list and earn a spot at the Guild Hall, and he has done just that.
The line up of 32 players for Preston is now complete, although their position on the seeding list will change over the weekend, for live updates click here. The final draw and format will be released on Monday. Tickets for the event which runs from February 6 to 12 are still available, for details click here.
Gould opened with a break of 137 tonight and soon went 2-0 up. Day fought back to 2-2 but world number 19 Gould won the last three frames with a top run of 60.
In Saturday’s first semi-final, Gould will face Ali Carter who scored a 5-2 win over Tom Ford. Carter, who won this title in 2013, looked on top of his game as he fired breaks of 74, 61, 76, 101 and 78. World number 14 Carter is seeking his second ranking title of the season having won the World Open.
Stuart Bingham enjoyed a 5-2 victory over Chinese prodigy Yan Bingtao. Yan, 16, was playing in the quarter-finals of a ranking event for the first time and he took the opening frame with a 34 clearance. Bingham won the next two with breaks of 73 and 80 before Yan made it 2-2. World number two Bingham dominated after the interval and won the last three frames with top runs of 86 and 69.
Bingham now plays Anthony Hamilton, who followed up his earlier win over Mark Selby by beating Barry Hawkins 5-4 in a fierce battle which finished at 12.15am.
Hawkins led 4-3 and had chances to seal victory in each of the last two frames. But Hamilton won the eighth on a respotted black then took the decider after a tactical exchange on the final brown, knocking in long pots on brown and blue to book his second semi-final of the season.
“It was a weird match,” said 45-year-old Hamilton, who now has a chance to reach his third ranking final and first since the 2002 China Open. “I stuck in well and kept making clearances. Barry will be a bit sore though I felt I deserved to beat him in Belfast when I lost 6-5 in the semis.
“The mad thing is I’m cueing like a dog, but I’m not bothered. I just keep punching and using my experience. Other players are struggling against me and I’m hard to beat because I’m not missing a lot. I was knackered in the last frame tonight but I didn’t let it get to me, win or lose I was happy. It will be nice to play Stuart tomorrow, he’s favourite but that’s how I like it.”