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Higgins holds on to make the semis in Shanghai

JOHN HIGGINS held off a comeback from Ali Carter to reach the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

The Scot, seeking a first tournament win in China since 1999 and playing his first ranking event of the season, looked poised to wrap up a convincing success when he established a 4-1 lead. However, World Championship finalist Carter made Higgins pay for missing the final red in the sixth frame, compiling a 32 break to overturn a 19-point deficit and seal a 73-60 success which kept his hopes alive.

The 33-year-old Essex potter built a 47-point lead in the seventh frame and wrapped it up with a knock of 35 to move to within a frame of his opponent at 4-3.

However, Higgins kept his composure to complete a 5-3 success - having started the contest with a break of 103 in the first frame.

Former world champion Mark Williams joined Higgins in the semis, beating Joe Perry 5-4. Judd Trump was another player who held off a comeback, defeating Graeme Dott 5-4 to set up a tie against Williams.

Shaun Murphy will play Higgins for a final place after the 2005 world champion beat Stuart Bingham 5-1.