20 year-old Yan Bingtao will grow to be solely the second Chinese participant to compete in a serious closing this afternoon. He’s crushed UK champion Neil Robertson, Stephen Maguire and defending Masters champion Stuart Bingham to get right here. Now to complete the job, a nine-time main champion and unarguably the perfect participant of the week.
Higgins rightly a agency favorite
Can the teenager upset the percentages in opposition to John Higgins, within the strain cooker of a serious closing? Not if the Scot reproduces his efficiency in opposition to Ronnie O’Sullivan. No participant on earth may beat that commonplace.
In his two different matches although, Higgins was good if not spectacular. Scoring closely and usually dependable within the security division, however nonetheless making his share of errors. With minor twists, he may have misplaced to both Dave Gilbert or Mark Allen.
Bingtao leads the head-to-head
I do not suppose for a minute that Bingtao will be overawed, particularly given the names he is crushed already on his Masters debut. In truth he leads Higgins 3-2 head-to-head, together with the final two, one in all which got here in a serious quarter-final.
We’ve seen already that he has baggage of bottle and resilience. Most younger gamers would have caved yesterday, going right into a decider having misplaced three shut frames and blown some golden alternatives. Yan stepped ahead, potted an outstanding opening pink, and held it collectively when it mattered.
Yan can maintain his personal in security battles
Granted, Stuart Bingham didn’t play nicely and Higgins is bound to current a a lot sterner check. Nevertheless, I believe Yan will maintain his personal. His security is sweet sufficient to compete and he fares nicely within the type of scrappy frames which Higgins invariably dominates.
If pressured to decide on on the odds, Bingtao appeals extra at 2.89/5 from a buying and selling perspective, however my likeliest end result is a slender Higgins victory. I would not be in any respect stunned to see Yan construct up a giant lead earlier than getting overhauled late.
A preferable wager is Over 16.5 Frames at 1.855/6. We have not wanted a deciding body in a Masters closing since 2010. It would be a becoming finish to a completely enthralling week.
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