World number one Mark Selby was beaten 5-4 by the in-form Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals of the Wuxi Classic.

 

By Matt Rich

 

Selby, who yesterday had completed a whitewash over Jamie Cope, couldn't rediscover that form early on, going into the session interval 3-1 down, and rallied too late in the match. In contrast Bingham, who currently looks like he doesn't know how to lose, hit a 63 in the third and a tidy 110 to go in ahead.

 

Selby pulled himself together to hit a 64 break in the fifth and a 92 in the eighth to level the contest. But Bingham, who won last week's APTC, showed no nerves completing a great win with a confident 86, setting up a meeting with good friend Mark Davis in the semi-final tomorrow.

 

"Again it was a great match today with Mark," said Bingham. "I didn't think he played that well, he's obviously just started the season so he's a bit rusty. But I've come through again 5-4. I had a nice break in the last but should've won 5-2, I had the chance but all credit to Mark, he kept coming back. It's great to get to a semi-final again.

 

"Obviously I just tried to get an opportunity to win. At 4-2 I had the chance and missed it, and then he's nicked it in the end, and then he's played a good frame to go 4-4. I just thought 'just keep playing my game', I know I'm confident and I know I fancy any shot that I was going for. I potted a good long one in the last and split the pack up and they opened up lovely and I just kept myself together in the end.

 

"It's great to see Mark Davis get to the semis, we're really friends. It'll be a really good game, you don't get to a semi-final without playing well. It's going to be tough because we know each other. I'm riding a winning wave at the moment and long may it continue, I'm feeling confident and I'm playing well."

 

Selby was magnanimous as ever in defeat. He said: "I think overall I didn't deserve to win, I didn't play well at all. I didn't score well enough and my safety was poor. I think overall Stuart deserved to win, he was the better player throughout the match.

 

"At the interval I knew I was struggling and probably deserved to be 3-1 down. I played ok in the next frame to go 3-2 and then I had chances most frames and didn't capitalise. If you have your chances and don't take them you deserve to lose. All credit to Stu, he played better on the day.

 

"The neck seems to be ok at the moment I seem to be getting down with no discomfort. It was fine today, obviously performance-wise some days you play well and some days you don't and unfortunately for me today was the day that I didn't."

 

Mark Davis had booked his first place in his first ranking event semi-final with a 5-0 drubbing of an out-of-sorts Graeme Dott.

 

Neither player recorded high breaks, with the largest being a 47 from Davis at his final visit to the table. He admitted afterwards that improving his break-building would be essential if he wanted to have a good season.

 

"It's obviously my first semi-final, it's taken me a little while, only 21 years!" said Davis. "But it's nice to be in there and I look forward to tomorrow now.

 

"It's never easy against Graeme, even at 4-0 up I knew there was a long way to go because he never gives in. He's one of the toughest players around. I feel good. I was getting lots of 30-40 breaks and then missing a silly one or losing position, I'm delighted to win, but I need to turn those breaks into 60-70 and try and visit in one visit.

 

"I've been a bit fortunate this week, my opponents haven't played as well as they can but that's the way it goes, you need that sometimes and I've taken advantage of it with 30s and 40s. I sound like Mark Williams don't I? All I'm doing is trying as hard as I can and getting the results, which is great. So I don't really care how I play to be honest. It's lovely to knock in centuries all the time but you can't always do that. Sometimes you've got to win a little bit more scrappy. It's all about winning the match at the end of the day and that's what I've done so far this week.

 

"I was pleased to clear up there when I got a chance at the end. You want to finish the match as quickly as you can especially someone like Graeme, you can't let someone like that back into a game. You've got to try and put it to bed as early as possible."

 

About Bingham, he said: "He's won the first two tournaments, the Pink Ribbon and the first PTC over here, and he's still going in this one. Stuart's a good mate of mine so it'll be nice to play him. I'm looking forward to it and we'll see what happens."

 

Dott's reaction after the match was: "I threw away the first two frames. I think if I'd won one of the first two frames it would've been a totally different match. But after throwing them away the snooker gods don't forgive you when you make a mess out of it and that's basically why I lost.

 

"Sometimes, when you're 4-0 down you're playing really bad, but I never felt like that so I still thought I had a chance. Nothing really went my way, I potted the blue and split the reds everywhere and still didn't land on one so I think there's times that you know you're not going to win."

 

About his season start of a last eight exit he said: "It's a decent start, but we're here to win the tournament so it's always disappointing when you lose. But it's very, very early in the season, normally I don't play at all around June and July so it's very early.

 

"I think there are a lot of shocks because it's too early in the season, there are lots of players who probably haven't practised as much as they should. I for one haven't played that much. So a dark horse could win it."