Royal London Watches Grand Prix 2008: Dominant Day storms into semi-finals

The final quarter-final matches are currently being played up in Glasgow. Click below to read what is going on in both matches…

Ryan Day 5-1 Jamie Cope

Welshman Ryan Day produced a fabulous display of snooker tonight to see him safely into a semi-final with Ali Carter

Although Cope took the opener and looked on the way to making it 2-0 in the second, following a miss on a relatively straightforward black it was all Day as Ryan showed why he will now move up to number three in the provisional rankings. He stole that second frame with only a 34 break but he hit consecutive century breaks of 129 and 112 to lead 3-1 at the interval before finishing off the match with further runs of 85 and 74. The only disappointment for Ryan is that he failed to complete what would have been a 142 to put himself in pole position for the high break prize, though I am sure he will just be glad to have won.

Although Jamie Cope gave Ryan a number of opportunities with his safety success rate down at 68%, Ryan looked brilliant when in the balls as demonstrated by a pot success rate of 95% until the final frame. Should be a really good match between him and Ali Carter who is also playing well this week.

Jamie Cope on the other hand will now move into the top 16 for the first time, though as I am sure he will be aware, he needs to improve his safety game if he is to regularly compete at the latter stages of tournaments and tonight was a perfect example of why. Still, he shouldn’t be too disappointed, Ryan gave him very little to go at in truth.

Ryan Day 5-1 Jamie Cope 24-60(40), 71(34)-25, 129(129)-0, 121(112)-0, 85(85)-55(48), 74(74)-0

John Higgins 5-3 Ding Junhui

Completing the line-up for the semi-finals is former three-times Grand Prix winner John Higgins who won  a close contest with Ding Junhui 5-3 tonight.

It was Ding who made the better start to the match with a nice break of 78, and after Higgins had levelled things, went back in front with breaks of 62 and 66 in frame three. John was in no mood to roll over in front of his home crowd though and a break of 71 sent them into the interval level at 2-2.

In what was becoming an increasingly tactical affair, it was no surprise to see one of the finest players in such situations start to take control of the match, moving 3-2 and then 4-3 ahead without there being any big breaks. He wrapped up the match in style though with a 71 break and earned a tie with Judd Trump tomorrow.

Without really hitting top form, Higgins has quietly gone about his business as he moves into his second semi-final of the season. He will start his match with Trump tomorrow as a heavy favourite but he should be careful not to underestimate his young opponent as he has already shown this week that he is capable of causing more experienced opponents a lot of trouble.

Ding meanwhile will be disappointed to have lost, but has at least looked something like his old self this week and has got a couple of wins under his belt. Hopefully he is back on the right track now and we can soon start to see the real Ding Junhui on a regular basis, not the pale shadow we have seen for the last 18 months…

John Higgins 5-3 Ding Junhui 11-91(78), 74-32, 0-128(62,66), 71(71)-17, 76(33)-4, 6-78(59), 81(36,32)-5, 71(71)-0