Ronnie O’Sullivan made four centuries as he beat John Higgins 6-3 in a clash of snooker titans at the ManBetX Champion of Champions to reach the semi-finals.
O’Sullivan won this event in 2013 and 2014 and has been runner-up in each of the last two years. In 2017 he lost to Shaun Murphy in the final, and the pair will meet again in the semis in Coventry on Friday evening.
World number three O’Sullivan beat Stuart Bingham 4-2 in his first match today, knocking in breaks of 109, 116, 68 and 60. Higgins edged out Ryan Day 4-3 with top runs of 106, 100 and 66.
A tremendous group final saw O’Sullivan go 2-0 up with 57 and 109 before Higgins replied with 91 then made a 70 clearance for 2-2. And the Scot took the lead with an 83 in frame five. O’Sullivan took just 47 minutes to win the last four frames, firing runs of 101, 137 and 114.
“I won a lot of frames in one visit,” said 42-year-old O’Sullivan, who has already won the Shanghai Masters this season. “If you can keep clearing up it’s a much smoother match. I’m not playing as much, enjoying the tournaments that I do play in and pacing myself. When I do play I give it my best.
“John Higgins and Stephen Hendry are the two greatest players I have played so I know I have to play brilliant snooker against John. You can sit in your chair for five or six frames and not get a shot, you’re always aware that could happen.”