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Red hot Ronnie O’Sullivan races into Champion of Champions Semi-Finals

O'Sullivan acknowledges a capacity Coventry crowd (credit:ITV Sport)

Ronnie O’Sullivan maintained his 100 per cent record in the Group Stage of the Champion of Champions by powering past John Higgins 6-3 to move through to the Semi-Finals.

O'Sullivan, who has reached the final in all five of his previous appearances in the elite invitational, followed up a nervy last-frame win over Jimmy White earlier in the day with a far more convincing showing to deny his great rival Higgins.

The defending champion now progresses to face Neil Robertson in the opening Semi-Final at the Ricoh Arena on Friday evening.

"I just think John didn't play well, I didn't play great. I was just hoping balls would go in and a few of them did so I got lucky really," said a self-critical O'Sullivan.

"It's a good table and a good venue, I just wish every tournament could be like this.

"I want to get my shot clock down to about ten seconds and have a bit of fun," he added.

Higgins set the tone for a scintillating group final with a break of 92 in clinching the first frame, before O'Sullivan levelled up and added a clinical break of 104 to hit the front.

The one-visit nature of the contest continued as Higgins replied with an 89 break, but only for 'The Rocket' to regain the upper-hand with a 77.

A costly missed green from O'Sullivan was punished by Higgins in frame six to make it three apiece before back-to-back breaks of 85 and 53 saw O'Sullivan move two clear for the first time.

The five-time World Champion then produced a stunning positional shot from the pink to the final red along the cushion on the way to closing out the match in frame nine.

Higgins admitted: "I ran out of position a couple of times and it's disappointing.

"It was difficult to know what to do and whether to play certain shots.

"He's potted a great pink there but I played a terrible shot on the brown and miss-hit it all together, no complaints."

Higgins had booked his place in the group decider after a 4-2 victory over an out of sorts Stuart Bingham with high breaks of 78, 61 and 84.

O'Sullivan, meanwhile, fought back from 3-0 down to edge out his close friend Jimmy White in a deciding frame thanks to a break of 76 after 'The Whirlwind' had missed a straightforward red with a chance to close out the upset.


Champion of Champions 2019 Group One Results


Thursday November 7

Group Semi-Finals
Ronnie O'Sullivan 4-3 Jimmy White
John Higgins 4-2 Stuart Bingham

Group Final
Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-3 John Higgins



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Red hot Ronnie O’Sullivan races into Champion of Champions Semi-Finals

Ronnie O’Sullivan maintained his 100 per cent record in the Group Stage of the Champion of Champions by powering past John Higgins 6-3 to move through to the Semi-Finals.

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