Ronnie O’Sullivan will play John Higgins in the Final of the 2016 Champion of Champions after a comprehensive 6-2 victory over Mark Allen on Friday, while John Higgins edged out Ding Junhui 6-5 in an 11-frame thriller at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
The Rocket made three centuries – taking his career tally to 834 – as he remained on course to complete a hat-trick of titles in this event.
He started well with a run of 51 but broke down on 29 when looking to make it 2-0, allowing Allen to level after a wonderful total clearance of 100.
The Pistol shot in a stunning opening red in frame three but missed the subsequent and was punished by O’Sullivan, who crashed in another total clearance of 130.
Allen made the most of his opportunity in the next, however, with a break of 109 levelling things up at 2-2 after just 43 minutes of play.
Although, it was all one-way traffic after the break. A run of 73 put the two-time champion back in front, before back-to-back centuries of 124 and 109 put him on the brink of victory.
Despite missing an early opportunity, the Rocket was soon back at the table as Allen failed to build on the form that had brought an impressive 6-5 victory over World Champion Mark Selby in the Group 2 Final on Wednesday.
There, a run of 59 to the blue was more than enough to secure a third consecutive Final appearance in Coventry, while maintaining his 100% record with an 11th win from 11.
Earlier in the day, Higgins edged out Ding in a high-quality encounter that went right down to the wire.
The first four frames were shared and lasted just over 50 minutes, as runs of 72 and 83 from the Scotsman were cancelled out by stunning total clearances of 135 and 107 by the Chinese.
A scrappy fifth went the way of Ding on the black after Higgins played a loose safety shot having run out of position, but the Wizard responded with a 79 clearance to level.
The Shanghai Masters champion regained his lead with a magnificent break of 142 and looked good for 5-3 from 60-1 down in frame eight, but knocked the pink safe when trying to develop it from the blue and his opponent sunk it for 4-4.
A brilliant long red paved the way for a 102 from Ding in the next – his fourth century of the match – but a stubborn Higgins held on after potting a tight red along the side rail to force a decider.
The China Championship winner got the first chance and, despite breaking down on 28, made no mistake with his second opportunity, as a run of 41 proved to be enough to secure back-to-back Finals.
Champion of Champions Results
Friday November 11
Ding Junhui 5-6 John Higgins
Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-2 Mark Allen