For the first time since capturing the Dubai Classic title in October last year, Alan McManus is back in the semi-finals of a ranking competition, the Skoda Grand Prix in Sunderland.
For the third match in a row he dropped only one frame, with Northern Ireland's Joe Swail his latest victim. "I didn't feel I was capable of competing for trophies until recently," McManus said after his 5-1 win. "It remains to be seen whether I can win a tournament again, but it makes a big difference to feel I am in with a chance."
Swail, appearing in his second successive ranking quarter-final, showed his ability with an excellent 104 to open his account in the final frame before the mid-session interval. However, McManus took over after the break. He was poised to overtake Jimmy White's 105 as the highest televised break, but missed the final blue after reaching 98.