Judd Trump pulled clear in the evening session to defeat John Higgins 9-4 and reach the semi-finals of the Coral Tour Championship.
Victory means Trump has now won his last five meetings with Higgins, including his 18-9 win over the Scot in the 2019 World Championship final. However, Higgins still leads 13-12 in head-to-head meetings.
Trump is now assured of reaching £1 million of prize money this season. He has already picked up a record six ranking titles this term, the most anyone has ever won in a single campaign.
Trump will take home a minimum of £40,000 this week, with a top prize of £150,000 on offer. He remains in pole position to claim the Coral Cup and secure the £100,000 bonus, awarded to the player who accumulates the most money over the three-event series.
Today’s match was a record breaking 124th ranking event quarter-final appearance for Higgins, who leaves Milton Keynes with the consolation of £20,000.
World number one Trump came into this evening with a 5-3 advantage, after a fiercely contested afternoon session. Tonight’s action was more one-sided, as Trump took a stranglehold on proceedings. Breaks of 67, 53 and 135 moved him to the verge of victory at 8-3.
Higgins provided some resistance by winning the 12th frame, to take the match to a mid-session interval. However, when they returned Trump quickly clinched the tie with a break of 68. The Ace in the Pack now faces Stephen Maguire, who fired in six centuries on his way to beating Neil Robertson in their first round clash.
“I can’t imagine there are many people that have beaten John five times in a row,” said 30-year-old Trump. “It’s pleasing that I now have the confidence against him that I always fancy it and to be honest I’ve always enjoyed playing him. The difference is that in the last couple of years, he doesn’t quite make those clearances that he used to.
“If I was to win another tournament, seven ranking titles would certainly be very difficult to beat for the foreseeable future. I think maybe only Ronnie could beat that if he really dedicated himself. It is nice to be putting these records out there and it is going to be tough for anyone to match them.
“Stephen is probably happy with his form and is confident. I am also confident as well, with how I finished off the match. I am more than happy to play my way into the tournaments. I don’t want to go out firing from the very start, it is tricky to do that three games in a row. I am always comfortable playing him. He is a great player. Hopefully I can get off to a quicker start than I did against John.”