Fergal O’Brien into Shanghai Masters quarter-finals

Irishman to meet Mark Selby after win over 17-year-old Zhao Xintong in China

Fergal O’Brien is into the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals. Photograph: Gareth Copley/PA Wire

Fergal O’Brien is into the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals. Photograph: Gareth Copley/PA Wire

 

Ireland’s Fergal O’Brien will meet Mark Selby in the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals after fighting back to beat Zhao Xintong on Thursday.

Zhao, the 17-year-old who beat Marco Fu yesterday, made the early running against O’Brien but could not sustain it as the Irishman came back to win 5-3.

The Chinese player took the opener with an 80 break and led once more at 3-2 with the help of a run of 69, but O’Brien fought back to progress despite making only one break over 50 — a 61 in frame three.

Selby was pushed hard by Nottingham’s Michael Holt before getting the better of his East Midlands rival 5-3.

The ‘Jester from Leicester’, ranked number one in the sport’s money list, was pegged back from 3-0 up to 3-3 but snatched a desperately tight seventh frame and took the eighth, and the match, with his fourth half-century break.

Ding Junhui overcame a slow start to delight the home crowd with a win over Martin Gould.

World number three Ding was 2-0 down to Gould in round two but came back to win 5-3, turning the game around with breaks of 96, 60 and 67 in successive frames.

He extended his lead to 4-2, and although Gould pulled one back with a 97 break, the home favourite wrapped up victory.

Alan McManus beat fellow Scot Stephen Maguire 5-1, the latter’s only frame coming via a 96 break.

In the earlier session, 2006 world champion Graeme Dott scored an impressive 5-3 win over 2005 counterpart Shaun Murphy.

Dott led 3-1 at the interval, helped by breaks of 98 and 66, and although Murphy returned with a 121 to cut the deficit, the Scot wrapped up victory.

Mark Allen’s good form continued with a 5-1 win over Mark Williams, the recent Paul Hunter Classic winner making breaks of 67, 56 and 85.

Stuart Bingham dispatched Dominic Dale 5-1 while Michael White won his all-Welsh clash with Ryan Day 5-2.

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