Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy have played the best snooker of the Welsh Open but this does not neccessarily mean that they will contest the final.

This is because their repsective semi-final opponents are a couple of up-and-comers by the names of Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Hendry has cued really well from 4-3 down to Ryan Day in the last 16. His long potting is good, he's not taking on low percentage pots and, crucially, his concentration is strong.

The seven times world champion is through to a record 80th ranking event semi-final (Steve Davis is next on 58). This is his first since the Maplin UK Championship in December 2006 and he will be determined to make it count.

It also comes 16 years to the day since he won the inaugural Welsh Open in 1992.

O'Sullivan has coasted so far. He's not played his best snooker but hasn't had to as Judd Trump, Steve Davis and, in particular, Ali Carter each failed to take their chances against him.

Selby has been superb. He is doing what Davis said was crucial: playing like it means nothing when it means everything.

In a similar vein, Malta Cup champion Murphy looks cool, calm and collected every time he comes to the table.

Form points towards the two 20-somethings contesting the final but such are the reputations of their semi-final opposition that anything could happen.

What is certain is this: after the somewhat dispiriting start to the week we're set for a grandstand finish to the Welsh Open.

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