We already know that Ali Carter is in the World Grand Prix final and on Saturday evening we will find out who will join him there when the second semi-final is played inside the Centaur Building at the Cheltenham Racecourse.
Judd Trump will take on Barry Hawkins over the best of 11 frames for the right to take on the former world finalist in Sunday’s final. Both these men look in belting form so we should be in for a wonderful evening.
After a slow start to the week, Judd Trump showed off something like his best form in the quarter final on Friday afternoon when he took care of Mark Selby in emphatic style and he will now be eyeing up a third title in just over three months, having previously won the Northern Ireland Open and The Masters.
Trump was particularly impressive in the long game department against Selby. He didn’t miss a single long pot and if he keeps that form up then he is going to be very tough to stop this week. The really appealing thing about Trump in this purple patch he has been on has been the quality of his safety play. We know that he can score at will and when his safety is creating more chances he is almost unbeatable.
It might well be that Barry Hawkins has been the player of the tournament thus far. He has rattled in four tons and another six breaks over 50 in the 13 frames that he has won in the event to date, and if he can keep that scoring level up then he should fancy his chances of reclaiming this title. He will need to score well here if he is to come through that is for sure.
In those three matches, Hawkins has only dropped four frames. It isn’t like he has had the easy section of the draw either. Ryan Day, Marco Fu and Kyren Wilson, his three opponents in the tournament, have all been in the top 16 or are still there so there is every reason to expect a good showing from the former world finalist here.
Head to Head
These two have met on 18 previous occasions in their careers and it could barely be any closer. They have both won nine matches and Trump has one more frame in his locker than Hawkins with a 54-53 lead in that department. They have not met in a ranking event since the quarter final of the 2018 Welsh Open which Trump won 5-4 on the final black. In semi-finals it is Hawkins who has the edge. He leads 2-1 in last four clashes through the years.
The first semi-final went nothing like I expected it to but I fancy this match will be much closer. Generally when these two meet they deliver tight battles and with the form that both are showing I expect to see a much more competitive battle here, between two classy operators who are used to performing at this stage of a tournament.
Hawkins is scoring particularly well in this event and he’ll take the match to Trump but I don’t think The Masters champion will mind that. I think the 5/4 on this one ending 6-4 or 6-5 looks a little too big based on the form we’ve seen from both men this week. I think this one has all the hallmarks of being close throughout.
WON – Back Over 9.5 frames for a 4/10 stake at 2.25 with William Hill
Back it here: