Published: Saturday February 16, 2013 MYT 8:41:00 AM
Updated: Saturday February 16, 2013 MYT 3:48:49 PM
Snooker: China's Ding eases into Welsh Open semis
NEWPORT, United Kingdom: Defending champion Ding Junhui made light work of reaching the last four of the Wales Open with a 5-1 quarter-final win over England's Robert Milkins on Friday.
The Chinese cueman has not won a major title since defeating Mark Selby in last year's final in south Wales.
But he looked somewhere near his best form as breaks of 50, 104 and 74 allowed him to sprint into a 4-0 lead.
Milkins stopped the rot with a break of 108 in the fifth frame and made 52 in the next.
But his failure to post a frame-winning contribution was punished by Ding, who sealed victory with a clearance of 63.
"I have been working hard," Ding told worldsnooker.com.
"I have just been a bit unlucky in a few tournaments," he added ahead of a semi-final against another Englishman in Stuart Bingham, who beat Ireland's former world champion Ken Doherty on Friday.
Earlier, Indian potter Pankaj Advani's history-making run came to an end with a 5-2 quarter-final defeat by Judd Trump.
The 27-year-old from Pune had become the first Indian to reach the last eight of a snooker ranking event when he defeated Graeme Dott 4-1 on Thursday.
But Advani, a former world billiards champion, saw his hopes of further progress dashed by world number two Trump.
The Englishman, looking to make amends after first round losses at the UK Championship, Masters and German Open, raced into a 4-0 lead.
Advani then gamely prevented a whitewash and overcame a 58-point deficit in the sixth frame before Trump sealed victory.
"I felt a lot more confident today and I'm steadily improving throughout the tournament which is what the likes of John Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan do," Trump said.
"I was happy to see Pankaj come back to 4-2 because it gave me a chance to prove myself. I created chances and went for my shots. I just missed a couple of balls when I was on 50 or 60 and I need to cut that out.
"Pankaj showed what he can do when he was 4-0 down. He has a bright future - he just needs more experience of playing on TV."
Trump now faces Stephen Maguire, who won an all-Scottish last eight match against Alan McManus 5-3, in the semi-finals. - AFP
Wales Open results on Friday: Quarter-finals (best of nine frames)
Judd Trump (ENG) bt Pankaj Advani (IND) 5-2
Stuart Bingham (ENG) bt Ken Doherty (IRL) 5-3
Ding Junhui (CHN) bt Robert Milkins (ENG) 5-1
Stephen Maguire (SCO) bt Alan McManus (SCO) 5-3. - AFP