Snooker

Neil Robertson to face Mark Selby in UK Championship semi-finals

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Neil Robertson and Mark Selby will meet in a big-ticket semi-final at the Betway UK Championship.

Robertson saw off John Higgins in a deciding frame after the Scot had recovered from 4-1 down in perhaps the stand-out match of this year's event at York's Barbican Centre.

Selby then eased through his evening quarter-final against Matthew Selt 6-1 with a top break of 72 to set up a repeat of the 2013 final - won 10-7 by Robertson.

For the second day running Robertson saw his opponent open with a century - Higgins' 119 the 600th ton of his career - following Stephen Maguire's 118 in the last 16 clash.

Robertson won a tough second featuring a lengthy ruling over a free ball and an interruption from a butterfly, which twice landed on the table before referee Jan Verhaas removed it.

The Australian went 4-1 up with runs of 106, 59, 71 and 56 and though Higgins made 69 and a pair of 134s en route to 5-5, he missed several chances in the decider and Robertson prevailed.

"The way I started the match was absolutely brilliant, to go 4-1 up, but John being the champion he is shut me out the next couple of frames," said Robertson.

"It was one of those deciders, I missed a couple, he missed a couple, luckily for me he's missed a semi-tricky green in the middle. I almost made a meal of it but I'm very relieved to get through."

Selby was not at his best against Selt but ultimately found his form.

He needed 46 minutes to take the opener and did not look fluent despite a 63 in the second, before Selt responded with 83 in the next.

Selby was much improved in winning the fourth, though his breaks on an awkward table were only 38 and 28, and he finished up with 61, 62 and 72 after the interval.

"The fourth frame was a key frame," he said. "Matthew made a good break in frame three, was looking good in frame four and should have probably been 2-2. I managed to nick that frame, and looking back I think that was a turning point."

Looking ahead to Saturday, he said: "Neil's playing great, probably playing the best in the tournament so far, so it's going to be a tough game but I'll relish it as always.

"I played Neil in the final in 2013 and he beat me there, I played him earlier on this year and we had a good game, and I'm sure tomorrow will be no different.

"When I get my chance I need to score and my safety needs to be good, because I don't think he's got any weaknesses."

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