• Shanghai Masters

Williams & Higgins into Masters semis

ESPN staff
September 21, 2012

Mark Williams fended off a spirited performance from Joe Perry to reach the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters, while John Higgins saw off a late fight back from Ali Carter to book his spot in the final four.

Higgins faces Shaun Murphy in the semi-finals, while Williams will take on world No. 2 Judd Trump, who survived a comeback bid from Graeme Dott to progress.

Williams never led by more than a frame against Perry, who equalled the tournament's highest break of 131 to take the match into a deciding ninth frame, but the Welshman produced a 75 when it mattered most to win 5-4.

Perry had taken the day's opening frame and was on course to build a frame-winning break to take the second before a missed red led to a safety exchange, which opened the door for Williams to draw level.

Another safety exchange went Williams' way as he took the third frame, but the Welshman allowed Perry back to the table in the fourth to leave things all square at the interval, and the Englishman edged ahead once more on their return.

Williams hit back with a 49 to level the match at 3-3 and capitalised on a fluked pot to move within a frame of victory. His good fortune did not end there either. After taking the match to a decider, Perry called a foul against himself for feathering the white to hand the initiative to the Welshman, who landed a superb red to send him on his way to the match-winning break and a semi-final showdown with Trump, who saw off a spirited comeback from Dott in the late session.

Judd Trump, the highest-ranked player left in the draw after Mark Selby's shock first-round exit, raced out to a 4-1 lead before Graeme Dott fought back to take the next three frames, taking the match to a decider with a 108 clearance, but Trump responded with a century of his own to win 5-4.

John Higgins confined Ali Carter to his chair early on in their last-eight clash, racking up breaks of 103 and 69 to take a two-frame lead, before the Englishman got the better of a scrappy third.

Higgins hit back with a break of 57 in the fourth to leave with a 3-1 lead at the interval and claimed a patchy fifth frame to move within one of the semi-finals, only to hand Carter a reprieve with a miss on the final red in the next frame.

Carter produced a clearance to stay in the match and won the next to pile the pressure on Higgins, but the Scot clung on, sealing victory with his second spell at the table to win 5-3. His next opponent, Shaun Murphy, booked his place in the last four with a straightforward 5-1 win against Stuart Bingham.

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