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Page last updated at 21:45 GMT, Thursday, 13 November 2008

Stevens & Hendry to meet in semis

Matthew Stevens
Stevens has slipped to 17th in the world rankings

Matthew Stevens set up a semi-final clash with former world champion Stephen Hendry after beating Dominic Dale in the Bahrain Championship.

Welshman Stevens came back from two frames down to beat compatriot Dale 5-2 with breaks of 81, 69 and 53.

In-form Hendry hit two centuries as he overcame qualifier Robert Milkins 5-2.

Neil Robertson caused an upset by beating Stephen Maguire 5-2 and will meet Mark Allen, 5-2 winner against Barry Hawkins, in the other semi-final.

Australian Robertson stunned tournament favourite Maguire, coming from 2-1 behind with breaks of 75, 52, 116 and 74 to take the last four frames.

Allen, who has now reached his second career ranking semi-final, posted three centuries and made clear his intentions, saying: "I am here to win the tournament."

The longer you go on in tournaments, the better you perform. I enjoy winning

Stephen Hendry

"Anything other than that would be a disappointment for me," he added.

But it is the victor between Hendry and Stevens who will be expected to triumph in the Gulf.

Hendry, who turns 40 in January and has not won a world ranking title since February 2005, has been in good form in Bahrain.

"I played pretty well again, I only missed a few shots," said the Scot.

"Rob made a fast start so it was good to get level quickly, and get the second and third frames without giving him a shot.

"The longer you go on in tournaments, the better you perform. I enjoy winning. I'm here to work, and to do a job."


Stevens, 31, who has slipped down to 17th in the world rankings, was looking forward to the challenge of meeting the tournament's form player.

"I'm cueing well but I've got Stephen Hendry next, probably the form man of the tournament," he said.

"It's always good to play Stephen as you know it's going to be a great challenge."

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see also
Magic Milkins sets up Hendry tie
12 Nov 08 |  Snooker
Maguire goes through in Bahrain
11 Nov 08 |  Snooker
Davis pulls out of Bahrain event
10 Nov 08 |  Snooker
Seeds crash out in Bahrain event
09 Nov 08 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan to miss Bahrain event
03 Nov 08 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
16 Sep 08 |  Snooker

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