China Open: No problem for Noppon as he nudges along

Trump, Higgins, Walden and Bingham all remain as the competition filters down to the last eight.

China Open: No problem for Noppon as he nudges along
Noppon Saengkham has been the find of the tournament (photo: Getty Images)

World number 102 Noppon Saengkham continued the form of his life as he defeated Graeme Dott, ranked 79 places above him, to reach his first major quarter-final at this year's China Open.

Saengkham meets Higgins, whilst Walden draws Bingham

The 23-year-old from Thailand cruised through with a comfortable 5-1 victory but will face a step up in quality when he meets John Higgins in the last eight. The Scotsman survived a slight scare against David Gilbert as the Englishman made a mistake on the brown that gave Higgins the match instead of taking it to a deciding frame.

An intriguing quarter-final line-up is headlined by the showdown between Ricky Walden and Stuart Bingham. Walden was sloppy against Tian Pengfei, but eventually edged the match 5-4, whilst Bingham improved after a nervy few opening frames to defeat Rod Lawler 5-2.

John Higgins stands in the way of the Thai youngster (photo: Getty Images)
John Higgins stands in the way of the Thai youngster. (Photo: Getty Images)

Maguire to play Burden and Trump takes on King

Stephen Maguire faces an exciting meeting with Alfie Burden, ranked 90th in the world. A victory for Maguire will see him automatically qualify for the World Championships next month, leaving Ding Junhui with three qualifying matches to progress into the season finale. Yet the match will not be a walk in the park for the Scotsman, as Burden defeated Rory McLeod 5-1 in the last 16, a player ranked 33 places above him.

The quarter-finals are completed by two form players in Judd Trump and Mark King. Trump has only dropped two frames all week, whilst King whitewashed Martin O'Donnell after defeating Shaun Murphy the day before.

This season has arguably been one of the most unpredictable of the modern era. The China Open has followed suit and if anyone other than John Higgins is victorious on Sunday it will mean that eight different players have won the eight major ranking competitions before the World Championships in April.

The last eight in short looks like this:

Saengkham v Higgins
Walden v Bingham
Trump v King
Maguire v Burden