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O’Sullivan Storms Into UK Final

Ronnie O’Sullivan reached the final of the Betway UK Championship for the eighth time with a 6-1 thumping of Tom Ford in York.

O’Sullivan has now won 26 out of 27 matches in this tournament over the past four years, having lifted the trophy in 2014 and 2017 and reached the final in 2016 and 2018. He has also won 25 out of 27 matches so far this season having won the Shanghai Masters and Champion of Champions and reached two other finals. A quarter of a century after winning his first UK title back in 1993, he is as powerful a force on the baize as he has ever been.

In Sunday’s final he will face Mark Allen or Stuart Bingham over 19 frames, with the winner to earn £170,000. Victory would give O’Sullivan his seventh UK title and 19th Triple Crown success, surpassing records he currently shares with Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry respectively.

Ford, playing in a Triple Crown semi-final for the first time, started well today with a break of 68 to win the opening frame, but could not take the chances that came his way in the remainder of the match. World number three O’Sullivan made top breaks of 122, 71 and 51 as he strolled into his 49th ranking final.

Despite defeat, Ford collects his biggest career pay day of £35,000 for reaching the semi-finals

“I’m pleased to be in the final,” said Chigwell’s 43-year-old O’Sullivan. “Tom missed a few balls, that’s what happens in big matches. Whenever I have got to a semi-final and played the likes of Stephen Hendry, John Higgins and Mark Williams it’s not easy. I like to consider myself in that bracket so maybe my opponents are feeling what I feel in those situations.

“I got into the match in the second frame and at 3-1 at the interval I felt good and knew I just had to keep going. It’s great that I can keep performing for the crowd because they are willing me on. The fans know I have a big heart for them. I try to play with a smile on my face and if I play a decent match it might brighten up someone’s day.

“York is a fantastic place, even when you are not playing you can walk around the streets and there are lovely coffee bars. It’s a beautiful place to spend ten days. This is where you want to be playing tournaments, in great cities like this. We’re lucky to have such a great venue for a great tournament.

“Tonight it will be two heavyweights going toe to toe and whoever I play tomorrow it will be a very tough match.”

Tickets for the 2019 Betway UK Championship go on sale on Sunday morning at 10am. For details click here.