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Mark Allen reaches century landmark in Welsh Open whitewash of Ma Hailong

Mark Allen notched up his 600th century break as he eased past China's Ma Hailong 4-0 in the second round of the Welsh Open in Llandudno.

The Northern Irishman became the 10th player to achieve the milestone with a break of 141 in the third frame as he moved through to set up a meeting with Si Jiahui.

Si, last year’s Crucible semi-finalist, sustained the form that saw him reach last week’s German Masters final as he beat Andrew Pagett 4-2.

And after enduring a tough start to the new season, the Chinese player believes he is starting to learn what it takes to challenge for titles on a regular basis.

Si told wst.tv: “There was a sense of relief when I reached the final in Berlin. People expect you to perform and have results matching that Crucible semi-final run.

“In the first half of the season I didn’t achieve as much. But that week I showed that I’m capable of having deep runs, and the Crucible wasn’t a fluke. It helped with my confidence.”

Defending champion Robert Milkins kicked off with a break of 140 as he beat Allan Taylor 4-1, while John Higgins beat Tian Pengfei by the same score.

Mark Williams summoned a break of 96 in the decider to squeeze past Sanderson Lam 4-3, while Neil Robertson also edged past Stuart Carrington in a decider and Ding Junhui was upset 4-2 by Robbie Williams.

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