Wembley Masters 2009: Semi-final News

It is the penultimate day of what has been a sensational tournament so far, please click below to read how the matches are unfolding…

Mark Selby 6-2 John Higgins

Defending champion Mark Selby continued his unbeaten run at the Wembley Arena with a convincing win over John Higgins this afternoon.

After recording a pot success figure of 96% in his last match against Ding Junhui, Higgins came into this match on the back of possibly his best performance since winning the 2007 World Championship, but he looked like a different player today. Several mistakes from both players but John in particular were the story of the opening frame and Selby moved into a 1-0 lead. Higgins did respond well by taking the next two, including a century in the second frame to turn it around. Selby though hung on well and after a re-rack, levelled things up at the interval.

When they came back though it was a different story, for Selby at least as the ‘Jester from Leicester’ began to find his form. Breaks of 102 and 60 put him two frames ahead for the first time before he wrapped up the match with runs of 82 and 84. Unfortunately for Higgins his form just completely deserted him and several surprising misses meant that he rarely looked like being the winner.

If Mark can start in the final like he finished this match then he will stand a good chance against whoever he faces in the final. If it is O’Sullivan then although he lost heavily in the recent Premier League final, at least he has previous experience of beating him in a major final and hopefully will have the confidence to come out and play his natural game against him.

Mark Selby 6-2 John Higgins 48-33, 0-118(100), 41-68, 85(52)-29, 102(102)-35, 79(60)-1, 84(84)-0, 82(82)-0

Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-2 Stephen Maguire

World number one Ronnie O’Sullivan continued his march to a fourth Masters title by defeating Scotland’s Stephen Maguire 6-1 tonight.

Much like John Higgins, Maguire came into the match on the back of a sensational quarter-final performance, but failed to reproduce that form tonight. It didn’t help though that O’Sullivan was in fine form, knocking in a century in the opening frame and continuing to punish each of Maguire’s errors by winning the frame in one visit.

At 2-1 it looked like Maguire might just be able to get himself back into the match and level things at the interval, but a poor missed red to right centre left O’Sullivan in amongst the reds and he duly cleared to the green for 3-1.

Maguire never gave up but you just felt that he had missed his chance and with O’Sullivan continuing to score heavily (making his 42nd Masters century and breaking Stephen Hendry’s record in the process), there was only going to be one winner as he took the next three frames to win 6-1.

Inevitably he will the favourite for the final, but you never know, Mark Selby knows how to win here and hopefully we will see a close match…

Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-1 Stephen Maguire 102(102)-1, 78(33)-24, 12-73(44), 84(84)-28, 91(66)-22, 144(136)-0, 79(70)-13