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Allen in semi but it's no to a reality check


Soft-shoe shuffle: Mark Allen eased his way past Scott Donaldson and into the semi-finals
Soft-shoe shuffle: Mark Allen eased his way past Scott Donaldson and into the semi-finals

By Ross Lawson

Mark Allen continued his burgeoning title defence at the Scottish Open but says if reality television came calling, his dancing would not be as fluent as his cueing.

The world No.7 composed breaks of 101, 81 and 78 at Glasgow's Emirates Arena, easing past Scott Donaldson 5-1 in the quarter-finals to book his place in the last four tonight.

But when asked if he'd ever consider an appearance in front of the cameras in a different context, the Belfast potter was unequivocal in his response.

"It's funny, as I was talking about this the other day - I don't think there's any reality TV show I'd go in for," the 33-year-old said.

"I don't like the jungle and the food that they eat, and for something like the dancing, I have two left feet, so I don't think I'd do well in any of them.

"I'd give everyone a real good laugh if I went on the dancing shows - Dancing on Ice I would fall over a lot.

"Strictly Come Dancing I would probably still fall a lot, but it would be a bit more comedic."

It's been a hectic week for the five-time ranking event winner in one of his favourite cities, enduring one of the busier schedules and enjoying a night out following his first-round win.

But looking ahead to the weekend, Allen hopes those issues have come to an end and he can be the player celebrating - once again - in Glasgow come Sunday night.

"It was a sluggish start mentally more than anything today. I was quite tired after a late night last night and an early start so I didn't get much sleep," he added.

"I hope the scheduling issues have been overcome, but I don't know what they'll throw on me next, but we'll see how it goes.

"We had a bit of a night out on Monday, but after that it's been completely professional preparation in the way it should be.

"I like Glasgow and I want to go out and enjoy Glasgow, but I'll have to wait until this tournament's over before I can do that.

"If I get to the final I can go out on Sunday night and enjoy myself, but we'll see what happens."

Friday afternoon's second quarter-final saw two of the finest players of the modern epoch cross cues as Ronnie O'Sullivan did battle with Mark Selby in their bids to reach the last four.

It proved a compelling contest under the Emirates lights, as both heavyweights landed early blows but the Rocket sped into a 3-2 lead with a trio of masterful century breaks.

And the five-time world champion beat Selby at his own game in many phases, demonstrating he is so much more than just a prolific potter in executing a solid safety performance to just edge in front.

The Jester from Leicester rallied, however, restoring parity at four frames a piece in the eighth to tee up a tantalising decider which he clinched with a break of 63.

"I always enjoy playing Ronnie. I see it as a challenge, he's probably the best to have played this game," Selby said. "You always know you'll be up against it and you have to play as good as you can possibly play..

"I wasn't feeling great before the match. I went in as the underdog. Everyone was expecting him to win and I just went out there and enjoyed it."

Despite the loss, O'Sullivan was happy with his performances this week.

"Mark's a brilliant match player. I think I've done alright, I'm happy to be able to compete.

"It was a brilliant break at the end under pressure. That's what champions are made of."

  • Watch the Scottish Open live on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with studio analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan and Jimmy White

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