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The Prince of Persia hopes to inspire the development of snooker

Iran’s top player Hossein Vafaei netted a stunning 4-1 win over Ding Junhui in the final round of 16 of the World Grand Prix and believes his success could spur the development of snooker.

Vafaei became the first Iranian professional player when he entered the tournament in 2015, and has since been joined by Soheil Vahedi. In recent seasons, he has had remarkable success, which helps him reach three semi-finals of the ranking event and climbing to 37 world place.

Today’s performance against Ding showed his ability as he hit breaks at 86, 134 and 51.

He had lost. There, he played good sports, people supported him. They loved him to play well.

Selby went on to win a second consecutive championship, beating Anthony McGill 4-2. Leicester’s Selby beat Ronnie and Oullivan 9-3 in the final of last Sunday’s Scotland Open final and have continued their momentum. In the eight frames he won this week, he’s made a century and seven more over 50.

Stays 134 and 58 gave him a 2-0 lead over McGill, then his opponents hit back 2-2 with 87 and 128. World number four Selby responded with 86 and 91 to reach the final eight.

Four-time world champion John Higgins failed 4-3 against rising Chinese potter Zhao Xintong. 111 and 137 clearances gave Zhao a 3-1 lead, then he missed the ball twice in the fifth frame and that opened the door for Higgins to make a 3-3 comeback.

The decider went down to red in the end, and Zhao slashed an awfully long pot into the top corner, before turning pink to win.

Zhao now faces Jack Lisowski, who played better in the Gloucestershire derby against Robert Milkins, winning 4-0. After an erratic opening frame, Lisowski overcame the last three in just 32 minutes, making breaks for 130, 127 and 56.