Yan Bingtao beats Stephen Maguire in final frame to reach Masters semi-finals

PA

Yan Bingtao produced the highest break of his career to win another decider after he beat Stephen Maguire to book a semi-final meeting with defending Masters champion Stuart Bingham.

A score of 141 was enough for the tournament debutant to get the better of his Scottish opponent 6-5 after a back and forth encounter.

Maguire had produced a 137 break earlier on which was the highest of this year’s Masters, but ‘Yan the Man’ saved his best until the last frame to keep his remarkable run going.

Following a final-frame victory over Neil Robertson in the previous round, the 20-year-old is now only two wins away from a first major title and on course to take home £15,000 for the highest break of the tournament.

Yan claimed the first two sets of this quarter-final tie in Milton Keynes but quality was in short order until Maguire levelled the scores with 102 in the fourth.

It seemed the Scot had hit his straps when he took the lead for the first time in the next frame, but consecutive half-century breaks put Yan back in front.

The topsy-turvy nature of the last four clash continued when Maguire produced a 137 to restore parity, but his Chinese rival responded and made the most of a major lapse to move within one of a semi-final berth.

The 10th frame was initially error-strewn but a fluke red allowed former world number two Maguire to set up a decider and, like it had been for the majority of the match, it seemed the victor would be decided on who made the fewest mistakes.

Shandong-based Yan had other ideas and produced a masterful break of 141 to ensure his missed chances were quickly forgotten, with defending champion Bingham next in his sights.

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