Thursday, April 8, 2021
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Masters snooker 2021: Stephen Maguire beaten by Yan Bingtao

Masters snooker 2021: Stephen Maguire beaten by Yan Bingtao
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Dates: 10-17 January Venue: Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app. Highlights on BBC Two and online.

Stephen Maguire was knocked out of the Masters after an agonising 6-5 quarter-final loss to debutant Yan Bingtao.

China’s Yan scrapped to take the first two frames but Maguire took a prolonged third and then hit 102 to pull level.

Maguire’s superb 137 was the highest break of the event, but Yan made 84 and two 50s to go one from victory.

Helped by a fluke, Maguire made a 60 to force a decider, but Yan’s 141 won the match and also denied Maguire the £15,000 highest break prize.

Yan will face defending champion Stuart Bingham in the last four on Saturday (13:00 GMT) as he aims to reach the final in his first appearance in the tournament.

The highly-rated 20-year-old is ranked 11 in the world and looked unflustered despite Maguire’s pressure, wrapping up victory with a nerveless century in the all-important 11th frame.

Yan said: “I am absolutely over the moon and I am really excited about this result. At the beginning I did not even expect to get through the first round and now I am into the semi-finals after making my highest career break.”

On being the youngest Masters semi-finalist since compatriot Ding Junhui, Yan added: “I feel proud of myself and to get that record with Ding, who is my hero. At my age, players don’t even get the chance to get into this event.”

World champion Ronnie O’Sullivan faces John Higgins on Friday evening to determine who claims the last of the semi-final places.

Analysis – ‘Yan cool as you like’

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry on BBC Two:

“You saw the wry smile from Maguire at the end because he thought the money was safe but Yan potted a tough second-last red to make the highest break. He only needed one chance and took it, a fabulous break.

“It was stunning, if it was Ronnie O’Sullivan doing that we would be saying it was genius. To do that in the decider, cool as you like, wonderful.”

1991 world champion John Parrott:

“Unbelievable from Yan, what a way to finish the match and we said he was blessed with a great temperament. A double whammy in the end for Maguire, not only to lose the match but have the £15,000 taken off him.

“For 20 years of age, Yan is going to be around for a long, long time. He has an excellent game, takes what is there but look how he finished it.”

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