Snooker news - Ronnie O’Sullivan hits four centuries on way to winning epic with John Higgins
Ronnie O’Sullivan was in the mood at the Champion of Champions’ tournament on Tuesday night, producing a world-class display of snooker by hitting four centuries in a 6-3 win over John Higgins at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
In a performance that had the Coventry crowd drooling, O’Sullivan - who made six centuries overall on Tuesday to increase his career total to 956 - hinted at his form with a slick run of 57 to take the first frame. And a century break of 109 in the second ensured few were left in any doubt that O'Sullivan was close to his best as two bad misses by Higgins allowed the Essex player to heavily punish the Scotsman.
To his credit, Higgins delivered plenty of quality of his own, with a trio of big breaks securing a run of three frames in succession allowing the four-times world champion to level matters at the mid-session interval with runs of 91 and 70 before an 83 helping him edge 3-2 ahead in a remarkable display of resolution.
But O'Sullivan was clearly in the mood as Higgins contributed only 10 more points in the final four frames as O'Sullivan ran in 101, 137 and 114 to secure a semi-final meeting with defending champion Shaun Murphy on Friday evening. It is a repeat of last year's final that the 2005 world champion edged 10-8.
O'Sullivan had made a flying start to the prestigious invitational event with a 4-2 win over Stuart Bingham in his opening group match on Tuesday to set up the clash with Higgins.
O'Sullivan made a slow start in losing the first frame, but quickly clicked into gear as breaks of 109 and 116 saw him move 2-1 clear of his fellow Essex potter.
2005 world champion Bingham responded with a knock of 65 to restore parity at 2-2, but further breaks of 68 and 60 was enough for O'Sullivan to progress in a repeat of the 2013 final at the event that O'Sullivan won 10-8.
O'Sullivan has also won this event with a victory over Judd Trump in 2014 while losing finals to Higgins two years ago and Shaun Murphy last year.
Later on Tuesday, four-time world champion Higgins downed Ryan Day 4-3 to set up the evening showdown with O'Sullivan.
Higgins held his nerve in a high-scoring tussle, with runs of 106, 100 and 66 securing the Scot's passage to the group final.
The winner of the invitational event that includes all of the tournament champions from the past year in the sport will win a cheque for £100,000.
- Group One
- Shaun Murphy 4-2 Jimmy Robertson
- Ding Junhui 4-2 Michael Georgiou
- Shaun Murphy 6-3 Ding Junhui
- Group Four
- Ronnie O'Sullivan 4-2 Stuart Bingham
- John Higgins 4-3 Ryan Day
- Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-3 John Higgins