Record-Breaking Stephen Maguire Advances

The Scot only qualified to compete in the tournament after the withdrawal of China’s Ding Junhui last week.

Stephen Maguire produced a scintillating display of heavy scoring to beat Neil Robertson 9-5 in the Tour Championship on Saturday.

There were an incredible eight century breaks in the contest, with Maguire contributing six – a record for a best of 17 frames fixture.

The Scot’s dominance included four tons on the trot in the second session, outscoring his opponent by a staggering 489 points in that period.

Robertson, who had himself constructed a brace of hundred-plus breaks in the opening session, could still have forced his way back into the tie and had an opportunity to win the last frame to reduce his arrears to just 6-8 down.

But Maguire was not to be denied, with a more modest run of 59 seeing him coast into the last four in Milton Keynes.

Originally not in the line-up, the six red world champion took full advantage of Ding Junhui’s withdrawal that allowed him to complete the field.

The lucrative ranking event, with a top prize worth £150,000, is the last leg of the Coral Series in which players on the one-year rankings list qualify for increasingly more prestigious competitions on the calendar.

The Tour Championship was supposed to have been played in March but got postponed at the last minute due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

There are no fans this week inside the Marshall Arena, something that Stephen Maguire felt could have contributed to his formidable form.

The 39 year-old will meet either world number one Judd Trump or countryman John Higgins in the semi-final.

Those two cueists clash on Sunday in a repeat of the World Championship title decider from just over a year ago.

Robertson’s demise strengthens Trump’s hopes of collecting the £100,000 on offer for winning the Coral Cup – a mini rankings list comprising the three events in the series.

The 30 year-old is out in front with £132,500, although would leave the door ajar for those in the chasing pack should he bow out at the opening hurdle too.

Live coverage of the Tour Championship in the UK and Ireland is on ITV4, while there are various other methods of tuning in around the world.

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