Robertson To Meet Williams In Semis

Neil Robertson won the battle of the last two World Champions, beating John Higgins 5-2 at the Bank of Communication Shanghai Masters.

The Aussie will now meet World No 1 Mark Williams in Saturday's semi-finals, while Mark Selby will face Mark King.

"I'm steadily improving as the tournament goes on, and that's generally what I've done when I've won tournaments before," said World No 5 Robertson, who has won ranking events in each of the last five calendar years (2006-2010). "I'm feeling good with a lot of momentum now.

"In my eyes, John is the greatest player I've ever seen, although I can't judge how good Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry were because they were at their peaks before my time. It's fantastic to beat him, even though he wasn't at his best today.”

Breaks of 78 and 59 put Robertson 2-0 up tonight before Higgins pulled one back with a 64 then dominated frame four for 2-2. But the Scot failed to score a point in the remainder of the match as Robertson ran out the last three frames with top runs of 74 and 69.

Williams stormed to a 5-0 win over fellow Welshman and World Cup team-mate Matthew Stevens, and has now conceded just one frame in his three matches. His top break in a commanding display was 129.

"It's not often you win matches 5-0, and I've won two this week so I must have had a lot of luck," said Williams, who is chasing a fourth ranking title in China and seventh in Asia. "I scored well today and I'm in the semis so I'm more than happy.”

There was controversy in one of the earlier quarter-finals as a furious Anthony Hamilton blamed a TV cameraman after losing 5-2 to Mark King.

"The cameraman was moving on every shot, all the way through the match," said the player who beat Ronnie O'Sullivan yesterday. "It was hard to concentrate and it did my head in. I'm still angry about it now.

"Whenever I was down on the shot he was in line with me and his arms were moving around. He had an attitude problem. I complained three times about it but it didn't make any difference. Then they changed one of the cameramen but it was the wrong one.

"Once your concentration is gone it's difficult to get it back. I know it was the same for both players but I let it get to me."

King, whose top break was 75 as he reached his first ranking semi since the 2005 Welsh Open, said: "It's just nice to still be involved in the tournament and not on the flight home tomorrow. It was scrappy today but as long as you win it doesn't matter.

Mark Selby made a century in the deciding frame to beat Shaun Murphy 5-4. Leicester's Selby, renowned for his high strike rate in close matches, needed just one chance in the decider as he rolled in a 117 to complete an excellent comeback from 4-2 down in a thrilling match.

"Shaun played better than me for three quarters of the match and he probably should have won," said Selby. "The heat and humidity make it difficult to play good snooker, but I was really pleased with the break in the last frame."

Day Five Results (Quarter-finals)

Mark Selby 5-4 Shaun Murphy
Mark King 5-2 Anthony Hamilton
Neil Robertson 5-2 John Higgins
Mark Williams 5-0 Matthew Stevens