Brutal Robertson edges home

16 February 2019 04:38:17 EST

Neil Robertson will play Iran's Hossein Vafaei in the Welsh Open semi-finals after hitting back from 4-2 down to beat Kurt Maflin 5-4.

The Australian, who won the tournament 12 years ago, appeared to be heading for a last-eight exit when he lost the first three frames but he won the next thanks to a break of 91.

Robertson edged a tight fifth frame only for Maflin to win the next and move 4-2 ahead.

Robertson then hit his stride, compiling breaks of 69 and 136 to force a decider, which he took thanks to another impressive break of 67.

He said afterwards: "I thought overall it was a terrific match. Both of us scored really heavily and I am gutted for Kurt at the end there. What a way to lose.

"It was about concentration and being brutal in the moment, because when I came to the table I was thinking what a way for him to lose if I win the frame from here."

Vafaei thrashed Scott Donaldson 5-1 despite losing the first frame, while the other semi-final sees Stuart Bingham take on Joe O'Connor, who recorded a shock 5-3 victory against the defending champion John Higgins.

Bingham beat Zhao Xintong 5-2 and is 2/9 to triumph against O'Connor while Robertson is available at 1/5 to emerge victorious against Vafaei.

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