SNOOKER: Mark Allen’s World Championship status secure

Northern Ireland's Mark Allen.
Northern Ireland's Mark Allen.

Mark Allen’s top-16 ranking and automatic place in the World Championship are secure.

The Antrim man’s last-16 defeat to Mark Williams in the China Open had left him vulnerable if Tom Ford or Jack Lisowski went on to win the £225,000 top prize in Beijing.

However, Kyren Wilson fought out a gripping battle with fellow Englishman Lisowski, with both players making century breaks before Wilson’s run of 64 secured a 6-5 win.

England’s Barry Hawkins also required a final-frame decider to defeat Ford. Hawkins led 4-1 before losing four successive frames, but breaks of 65 and 96 saw him home.

World number one Mark Selby moved into the semi-finals after beating Wales’ Mark Williams 6-2 in Beijing.

Selby built a 4-1 lead, helped by a break of 136, before a 143 total clearance in frame eight sealed the win.

“I have got better as the tournament has gone on, and I am really happy with the way I played today,” Leicester cueman Selby told

“Coming here, I wasn’t too confident and didn’t know what to expect because my season has been quite poor. I have scored well and gained more confidence now.”

Those two results mean Hawkins next plays Australian Neil Robertson, who swept past his fellow former world champion Stuart Bingham 6-0 helped by breaks of 143, 92, 86 and 80, with Bingham scoring just 84 points in the entire match.