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Champion of Champions: John Higgins sets up Mark Allen semi-final with Ding Junhui demolition

John Higgins powered into the Champion of Champions semi-finals as he beat Ding Junhui 6-1 in Bolton to set up a clash with Mark Allen.

The Scot posted a break of 96 in the opening frame, having been on course for a maximum 147, before Ding – playing in place of Ronnie O’Sullivan following his withdrawal on Tuesday – hit back with a 106 to draw level.

Higgins then surged to victory in fine style, making breaks of 83, 80, 92, 86 and 82 as he claimed the next five frames.

The 48-year-old, who had earlier defeated Chris Wakelin 4-0, told wst.tv: “I felt good out there today and I really enjoyed it. It’s a brilliant venue and I can’t wait to come back on Saturday (to face Allen).

“Me and Mark always have great matches. Last time he pipped me 9-8 in the (2021) Northern Ireland (Open) final so maybe I owe him one back. I can’t wait to play him.”

Ding’s earlier match on Wednesday had seen him win 4-3 against fellow Chinese player Zhang Anda.

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