Stuart Bingham and David Gilbert Through to Last Four

The English pair faced each other in the semi-finals 12 months ago but are on opposite sides of the draw this time.

Stuart Bingham and David Gilbert reached the last four of the Masters with hard-fought victories on Thursday at the Marshall Arena.

The first two quarter-final encounters in Milton Keynes didn’t set off many fireworks but neither will care, with just two further victories separating them from the Paul Hunter Trophy.

Bingham, of course, is bidding to become the first player to successfully defend a maiden Masters crown since the late Paul Hunter managed the feat himself almost two decades ago.

The 44 year-old compiled breaks of 133 and 91 in outlasting Shaun Murphy 6-3, while Gilbert prevailed in a topsy-turvy encounter with Kyren Wilson that lasted the distance.

Neither clash was particularly easy on the eye, and both players will likely feel that their respective games will have to improve if they are to progress further in the tournament.

Gilbert defied a significantly inferior pot-success rate and points tally to somehow edge Wilson, who had compiled a brace of tons, 6-5.

The “Angry Farmer” has endured a torrid year since embarking on a run to the same stage of this competition in 2020.

Gilbert will challenge either Ronnie O’Sullivan or John Higgins in the last four, an esteemed duo who have accumulated nine Masters crowns between them.

Bingham, meanwhile, awaits the winner of the tie between Stephen Maguire and debutant Yan Bingtao.

In what was a repeat of the 2015 World Championship showdown, Bingham and Murphy could rarely get out of first gear in a scrappy encounter beset with slow play, missed opportunities, and punctuated frames.

Bingham and Gilbert have a day extra to prepare for the last four, however, with the remaining couple of quarter-final fixtures set to take place on Friday.

Live coverage is being provided by Eurosport and the BBC across Ireland and the UK, with further broadcasts also available around the world.

The Masters Quarter-Finals Draw

Stuart Bingham (1) 6-3 Shaun Murphy (8) [Thursday, 7pm]
Stephen Maguire (9) vs Yan Bingtao (12) [Friday, 1pm]

David Gilbert (13) 6-5 Kyren Wilson (6) [Thursday, 1pm]
John Higgins (7) vs Ronnie O’Sullivan (2) [Friday, 7pm]

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