Ding Junhui(R) of China competes during the quarterfinal match with Joe Perry of England at Snooker Masters 2017 at the Alexandra Palace in London, Britain, on Jan. 20, 2017. Ding lost 1-6. [Xinhua]
China’s Ding Junhui was shocked by English veteran Joe Perry 6-1 in the quarterfinals of the Masters snooker tournament in London on Friday.
Ding, ranked sixth in the world, lost five frames in a row, making it 5-1 with a break of 54 before losing the seventh frame without scoring a point.
Perry, who beat Ding in the first round match in 2015 for his only Masters win in eight previous appearancs, now faces Barry Hawkins on Saturday evening for a place in the final.
“I was not in form today,” Ding said. “I don’t feel good. That just happed to me. I want to play well, but I just can’t find the form. Joe played very well. He is now a much better player than 10 year ago when I just turned professional.”
World ninth-ranked Perry said, “It doesn’t get much better than that. Ding is one of the greatest players the game has ever seen. We all know what he’s capable of. I just felt like I controlled the match from start to finish, so that’s a real feather in my cap.
“I came in here with no form. So it’s nice to play with no expectations. I think I stole Neil Robertson’s long game tonight because my long potting was the strongest part of my game. My safety was good. I kept control of the table.”
Perry will take on last year’s runner-up Barry Hawkins, who stunned world number one Mark Selby 6-3 in the day’s another game.
English defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan will face Marco Fu of Hong Kong, China, in the other semifinal on saturday.