Fu survives Hawkins comeback to book place in Crucible semi-finals

The Hong Kong player won 13-11 despite leading 9-1 at one stage

fu, hawkins, mcmanus, higgins, crucible, snooker

Picture by: Anna Gowthorpe / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Marco Fu held off an astonishing comeback by Barry Hawkins to book his place in the World Championship semi-final after a 13-11 win at The Crucible on Wednesday night.

Fu led the quarter-final at one stage 9-1 and looked set to win the match with a session to spare. Hawkins, who has reached the semi-finals in the previous three years, somehow pulled the match back to 10-9 but was unable to ever get level with the Hong Kong star.

At 12-9, Fu has the match all but won, with Hawkins needing snookers to win the frame. Somehow, he survived and pulled the match back to 12-11 before Fu advanced with a clearance of 74 in the 24th frame.

It is the first time since 2006 that Fu has qualified for the last-four. On that occasion the then-qualifier lost 17-16 to eventual runner-up Peter Ebdon.

While Fu is making a return to the semi-finals for the first time since 2006, it is nothing compared to Alan McManus who has reached the last-four for the first time since 1993.

McManus, who is the oldest player in the tournament, defeated Scottish compatriot John Higgins 13-11 to set up a semi-final clash against China's Ding Junhui.

The 45-year-old came from two-frames down on three separate occasions in the last eight frames to win the final four and book his place in the semi-finals.

Both matches begin on Thursday afternoon with the final taking place on Sunday and Monday.