Ding cruises to Dott victory to reach Masters semi-finals

Ding Junhui was in imperious form as he dispatched Graeme Dott 6-2 in the first quarter-final of the Ladbrokes Mobile Masters yesterday.

The Chinese player, who lives is based in Sheffield during the snooker season, compiled three sparkling centuries before the mid-session interval and two half-centuries thereafter to see off an out-of-sorts Dott.

The Scotsman struggled for fluency throughout, missing a host of easy balls, and his highest break was just 38. Ding roared out of the blocks to take the first two frames with breaks of 124 and 108, showing no signs of the stuttering form during his first-round win over Mark Williams.

A scrappy third, which at one stage looked set for a re-rack, eventually went the way of Dott but the Chinese star was at his fluent best again in frame four, a second 124 seeing him to a 3-1 interval lead.

Dott closed the gap in the first frame back, limping over the line by potting the green after a near 10-minute safety battle.

But he broke down on 38 in the next after an unfortunate split of the reds and Ding took advantage. He missed a relatively straightforward yellow with another century in prospect, but a break of 74 was enough for a 4-2 lead.

Dott missed an easy red and yellow in the next to allow Ding to move to the verge of victory and a 52 break in frame eight was enough to see him over the line.

Ding, who was runner-up to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the Masters in 2007, said: "It feels good. I have to keep concentrating hard and practising. Any player can win the tournament.

"Today I played good but tomorrow may be bad, I need to try hard in every match.

"If possible, I would like to win everything but I need to keep working hard."

Dott added: "Ding did to me, what I did to John Higgins. If Ding plays like that he can definitely win it."

Ding will next play Jamie Cope, who beat Mark King 6-1.

Ding added: "They are all playing well, it will not be an easy game."

Snooker's biggest domestic tournaments will be shown on the BBC for at least another three years thanks to a new agreement with World Snooker.

The deal sees the BBC continue as host broadcaster of the World Championship, the UK Championship, the Masters and the Welsh Open until the end of the 2013/14 season.

The World and UK Championships and the Masters will be given network coverage, while the Welsh Open will again be screened on BBC Wales.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said: "We are absolutely thrilled to extend our partnership with the BBC for a further three years. It's a great day for our sport; for the administration, the players, and most of all the fans, who are guaranteed many hours of uninterrupted coverage of snooker on a free terrestrial channel."