Mark Allen
Mark Allen continued the defence of his Yearly Yuan-jiang Gujinggong Liquor Haikou World Open title by beating John Higgins 6-2 in the semi-finals.

 

Pics: Tai Chengzhe

 

Allen played some sizzling snooker to win his ninth consecutive match in this event, keeping up his unbeaten record in Haikou. He won his only ranking title here last year and will face Matthew Stevens in the final tomorrow with the chance to double his tally. That would make him the first player to win the same ranking event in back-to-back years since Higgins took the Welsh Open crown in 2010 and 2011.

 

Higgins started in fine fashion with a break of 90, then Antrim's 27-year-old Allen levelled with a 119 and dominated the third frame to lead 2-1. Four-time World Champion Higgins made a 58 to square the match, but was second-best after the interval and failed to score a single point in the last four frames.

 

Allen piled in runs of 41, 56, 81 and 76 to reach the third ranking final of his career.

 

The final is over 19 frames with the winner to receive £85,000.