Semi-finals Saturday at the 2024 World Seniors Snooker Championship

Credit: Andy Chubb/World Seniors Snooker TourCredit: Andy Chubb/World Seniors Snooker Tour
Credit: Andy Chubb/World Seniors Snooker Tour | ANDY CHUBB
One super session of seniors action is on the programme at the Crucible Theatre

A new winner of the World Seniors Snooker Championship is already guaranteed as we move into Saturday’s semi-finals with four players from four different countries still in pursuit of the trophy.

Matches in the last four are now extended to the best of seven frames, with the winners going through to Sunday’s best of nine final. Let’s preview the match-ups...

From 12:00BST/13:00CEST: Igor Figueiredo (Brazil) v Tony Drago (Malta)

Both players here have equalled their previous best result in the tournament by getting to this stage, but one will go at least a step further and feature in a maiden final.

Pan American Seniors Champion Figueiredo has dropped only one frame in two matches, so far - fewer than any of the remaining contestants. The Brazilian eliminated reigning champion Jimmy White 3-0 in the last eight, the player who denied him in the last four three years ago on his only other main draw appearance.

Malta’s Drago began his quarter-final tie against Stuart Watson with a 91 break in the opening frame and then doubled his advantage in the next. Watson claimed frame three on the final black and then looked like forcing a decider with the fourth, but this time he unexpectedly missed the final black to gift Drago a sitter for the game. It is the second successive year that the quick cueist has made it to the final four.

Figueiredo and Drago have never previously met in competition.

Following the opening match: Barry Pinches (England) v Ken Doherty (Republic of Ireland)

Doherty is two more wins away from completing an unprecedented quadruple of world junior, amateur, professional and seniors championship title triumphs.

Having battled through his opening round, the Dubliner again needed to show resolve in his last eight tie against Dechawat Poomjaeng, twice coming from behind before compiling a match-winning break of 70 in the deciding frame.

The six-time ranking event champion made this event’s final in 2020 where he dramatically lost 5-4 to White after leading 4-0.

Pinches is now the furthest he has even been in this tournament before. A qualifying event winner earlier in the season to reach the main draw, Pinches has recorded 3-1 victories on the grand stage this week against Joe Johnson and James Wattana.

His meeting with Wattana was over 35 years on since they contested the final of the 1988 World Amateur Snooker Championship in Sydney, Australia. In that match, the Thai player came out on top.

Doherty and Pinches have played each other six times before - all on the professional circuit - and the Irishman has won all six, including a previous Crucible clash in the opening round in 2005. However, their last head-to-head fixture was in 2014.

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