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Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2007, 22:51 GMT
Ding and Hendry meet in last four
Stephen Hendry
Hendry's win was not one of his more spectacular performances
Stephen Hendry admitted he was not at his best as he completed the semi-final line-up at the Masters with a 6-2 win over Shaun Murphy.

Hendry's next opponent will be Ding Junhui who came close to a second 147 break of the week on his way to a 6-2 win over Stephen Lee.

"For some reason I didn't feel as though as I was cueing well, but I scrapped it out to win," said Hendry.

"I don't think it was the match everybody was building it up to be."

It was a deserved win for Hendry, who made breaks of 72, 49, 47, 39 and 38, as he kept alive his hopes of a first tournament win since the Malta Open.

He admitted it was one of his more solid, unspectacular displays, but hoped the prospect of playing Ding in the next round could lift his game.

"I can't wait to play him. Hopefully it's going to be a superb match. I'm really looking forward to playing him," he said.

Ding, 19, who made a 147 against Anthony Hamilton on Sunday, was on course for another in frame four of his match with Lee.

He broke down on the 14th black but then won four frames after the break to wrap up a 6-2 victory.

Ding has already won three ranking event titles and two more wins would secure his fourth major crown.

I had a shot on the black ball in one frame and kept seeing spots appear in front of it

Stephen Lee

Although the Masters does not have ranking status, it is snooker's richest invitational event.

Ding slipped 2-1 behind early on but drew level before the interval, only a bad bounce off the top cushion preventing him from notching another maximum.

"At the very beginning of the match I was very frustrated, but from the third frame I started to play attractive snooker," said Ding, who sunk breaks of 105, 76, 98 and 80 to book his place in the last four.

"It's a very big year for me and I'm happy with the way I'm playing."

Lee, who knocked out world champion Graeme Dott in his opening match, failed to find any rhythm and mustered a high break of 31.

He admitted afterwards: "I played like I'd been out on the beer all night. I wish I had done now.

"I had a shot on the black ball in one frame and kept seeing spots appear in front of it. I just tried to hit it, I just couldn't pot a ball.

"I had to try and stay with him, but I didn't. He got better and better and ran away at the end of it. I played awfully."



SEE ALSO
Masters latest and order of play
16 Jan 07 |  Snooker
Ding compiles maximum at Masters
14 Jan 07 |  Snooker
Murphy wins to set up Hendry tie
17 Jan 07 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan tarnishes Masters win
16 Jan 07 |  Snooker


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