After three exhilarating days of snooker, there was a real buzz of excitement at Venue Cymru for the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix. With world number one Mark Selby, reigning champion Judd Trump and favourite Ronnie O'Sullivan all out of the tournament, the competition had been thrown wide open for anyone to win.
Gutsy performance from Ding Junhui sees him into the last four
A real cracker set proceedings on their way as Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, who had already beaten two higher ranked opponents this week, took on Ding Junhui. A match of high quality snooker saw Un-Nooh draw first blood with an excellent break of 97. Ding Junhui hit back with a 92 in the second, before Un-Nooh put himself in pole position to continue the trend of upsets with an 84 and 74 to lead 3-1.
Yet Ding Junhui is a strong player who rarely gets fazed and the man from China only allowed his opponent 38 more points as he sealed an excellent comeback to win 4-3. Breaks of 51, 65 and 108 saw Ding Junhui into his first semi-final of 2016.
World number 10 Joe Perry had been drawn against an inspired Ali Carter who some were tipping as an outside shot for the title. Yet Perry proved his class with an emphatic 4-1 victory as he continued an impressive campaign.
A couple of visits to the table saw Perry win the opening frame, before Carter struck back with a 69 break to tie the match. However that would be Carter's last moment of success as breaks of 87 and 66 saw Perry take the last three games in an industrious performance.
Shaun Murphy proves his class once more
World number 7 Shaun Murphy could be a good tip for the title as he continued his impressive form with a 4-0 victory over Liang Wengbo. Murphy has dropped just one frame in his last three matches, winning 12 in the process. Four breaks exceeding 50 were topped by a 71 in the first, as Wengbo was only able to muster 36 points from the entire contest.
Meanwhile, Stuart Bingham continues to rejuvenate his form after a poor couple of months. The world number 2 took on local favourite Ryan Day who had impressed in the opening two rounds. Day looked set to progress further as he took a 2-1 lead with both players trading breaks of 60. Though as was the case in all of the matches on Friday, Bingham won the final three frames, consistently scoring breaks in the 60s as he progressed to the semi-finals without breaking too much sweat.