Bingham to face Walden in Wuxi final
Stuart Bingham was forced to resist a spirited recovery by Mark Davis in a 6-5 win at the Wuxi Classic that secured him a final meeting with Ricky Walden.
World number 15 Walden had few such problems in the other semi-final in China. Walden ousted Marcus Campbell with a 6-1 win over the Scotsman, who endured a forgettable evening in failing to capitalise upon the chances that came his way in his first appearance in a ranking semi-final.
Bingham finished his match off with a measured clearance of 134 to deny Davis a place in his first ranking final after 21 years as a professional. It was an impressive finish from Bingham especially after he had won the first four frames only to see his opponent collect the next five as Bingham's game suddenly became ragged.
With Davis mustering a highest break of only 29 in the first four frames, Essex professional Bingham moved 4-0 ahead at the mid-session interval with runs of 79, 60, 41 and 64.
Having won his previous three matches at the tournament in the final frame against Peter Ebdon, Ken Doherty and Mark Selby (all by 5-4), Bingham seemed poised to have an easier passage to the final until Davis's mind seemed to click into gear.
Three successive 70 breaks saw the man from Hastings close to 4-3 behind before he levelled with a classy 54 to steal the eighth frame after Bingham had forged a 52-0 lead with a run of 45.
Bingham - world number 16 and 14th seed - was suddenly looking anxious and was punished for a miscue using the rest in trying to pot a routine red on a break of 28 as he jumped the cueball over the object ball.
Davis polished off the balls that should have been Bingham's as an 86 carried him 5-4 ahead.
Davis had chances in the next frame to finish off the match, but paid for missing some obvious opportunities with Bingham compiling a telling 44 to force the match to a deciding frame which he won with his immaculate 134 knock - the third highest break of the tournament so far behind his own 143 and Judd Trump's 137.
Bingham will chase his second victory in a ranking tournament in the best-of-19 frame final after winning last year's Australian Open. He is likely to face another exacting match against Walden, who has enjoyed wins over Zhu Yinghui, Joe Perry, Robert Milkins and Campbell in reaching the final.
Walden - who lost to Mark Allen in the last four of last season's UK Championship - opened his semi-final with 90 and never looked back as breaks of 47, 40, and 46 carried him 3-1 ahead at the mid-session interval. With Campbell toiling to put together enough notable scores, Walden won the closing three frames with further runs of 64, 90 and 42.