Byline: Phil Yates
Steve Davis, the six-times world champion for whom no amount of past success has assuaged his appetite, continued to laugh at Old Father Time by reaching the semi-finals of the Welsh Open in Newport last night.
Davis, at 49 easily the most senior player competing at the sport's highest level, recovered from 3-0 and 4-3 down to defeat Anthony Hamilton 5-4. He now plays Neil Robertson, of Australia, who secured a 5-4 win over Ronnie O'Sullivan, having also been one frame adrift with two to play.
"That was one against the head. It was a rollercoaster of emotions for me and I can't believe I'm through," Davis, who benefited from Hamilton's inability to strike the killer blow, said.
Holding a 46-0 lead in the eighth frame, Hamilton strangely grazed the black in attempting to pot a red. Davis stepped in with a 61 break and cleared from green to pink in the decider after his opponent had wasted three opportunities.
Andrew Higginson, a 29-year-old from Widnes who last season was competing on the second-tier Challenge Tour, so low had his fortunes sunk, collected Pounds 22,000 for compiling a 147 break during a 5-1 win over Ali Carter that secured his debut in a semi-final.
Higginson potted a succession of testing balls, none more so than the last red, which he struck at pace to a middle pocket. By stunning the cue-ball, he avoided the blue, and having travelled 20 feet in and out of balk, the white came to rest perfectly for the black.
The colours were dispatched and Higginson added breaks of 83 and 104 -his seventh century of the tournament -to continue an unexpected journey from qualifying.
His next opponent will be Stephen Maguire, who ended Shaun Murphy's hopes of capturing successive world-ranking titles with a 5-3 win.
Copyright (C) The Times, 2007