Mark Allen Powers Into Haikou Final
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Mark Allen produced a simply brilliant performance to beat John Higgins 5-2 and take his place in Sunday's Haikou World Open final.
Having shared the first four, high quality frames, Allen blitzed through the next four, leaving four times World Champion John Higgins without a point on the board.
Having rattled in 119 and 45 before the interval, on the return Allen was quite simply unstoppable.
He scorched in 285 unanswered points with Higgins pinned in his chair as a hapless spectator.
Antrim's Allen, defending his 2012 Haikou World Open title, will face Welshman Matthew Stevens in the final in China on Sunday.
Allen was besieged by the Chinese fans after the match.They patiently queued to get his autograph and despite the demands of the Chinese media frenzy clamouring to interview him, Allen stayed behind in the arena to sign every single request.
Earlier in the day Stevens came through a thriller against Neil Robertson 6-5.The last time Allen and Stevens went head to head in a major ranking event, was in an epic match at the Crucible in 2011.
On that occasion Allen came from 9-6 to edge the match 10-9. In all matches Allen has a narrow 6-5 lead and an equally narrow 40-39 frame advantage. Allen has however won the last three encounters in matches between the Northern Irishman and the Welshman. The final will be played over two sessions at 2.30pm and 7.30pm local China time; 6.30 and 11.30am GMT.
Viewers around the world will be setting alarm clocks according to their time zones and spectator figures are predicted to run into 100s of millions with live coverage from CCTV in China, Eurosport across more than 55 countries.
There is also live coverage in the UK by ITV4. This coverage in particular, ITVs first venture into snooker for twenty years, is another measurement of the upsurge in interest in the sport from fans, broadcasters, sponsors and business partners.
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