Barry Hawkins came through his second big name clash of the day to defeat Neil Robertson 4-2 and reach the last four of the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in Preston.
The Hawk had already defeated Judd Trump earlier in the day to reach the quarter-finals. He produced a tremendous display to down the Juddernaut 4-1.
Robertson also provided a blockbuster performance this afternoon, thrashing five-time World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-1.
Both players began this evening’s clash in a similar vein of form. Hawkins took the opener thanks to a run of 81, before Robertson made 70 in the second.
From that point the Australian’s game began to falter and Hawkins took full advantage. He claimed a crucial third frame with a solid long range brown, before winning the next to go 3-1 up. Robertson moved within one, but it was Hawkins who got over the line with a break of 85 which secured the 4-2 win.
“It doesn’t get much tougher than having to beat Neil Robertson and Judd Trump. I didn’t play as well tonight as I did against Judd, but I don’t mind, as getting through is all that matters,” said Hawkins. “It was slightly hard work at the end. I’m just pleased I managed to get over the line having lost that fifth frame. I made a good long red and then kept control of the white which was important.”
Liang Wenbo triumphed in a fantastic match with Joe Perry. The Firecracker erupted with joy after potting match ball in a tense final frame to win 4-3.
With the score at 1-1, Liang took to the front with a century run of 109. Perry levelled the match before the Chinese potter was ahead again after a 129 break. Perry made it back to back centuries to force a decider, compiling a runof 122.
An enthralling final frame saw both players make middling breaks, which left the frame in the balance coming down to the last few reds. Following a series of shot to nothing efforts neither player had made a decisive move. Eventually Liang made a pivotal red on the top cushion and got over the line to book a semi-final meeting with Hawkins.