John Higgins roared through to the Champion of Champions semi-finals following a ruthless 6-1 rout of Ronnie O’Sullivan in Bolton on Thursday.
The Scotsman produced a devastating scoring display at the Bolton Whites Hotel; pouncing on his rival’s mistakes with breaks of 127, 94, 92, 86 and 63 securing a thumping victory.
Champion of the popular invitational event in 2016, Higgins looked lacklustre in his Group Three semi-final against Ding Junhui; surviving match ball before recovering 3-1 down to scrape through 4-3.
But the Wizard turned things around in spectacular fashion as he progressed to the last four for the first time since lifting the trophy five years ago.
There, he will face Masters champion Yan Bingtao for a third successive event, having prevailed in their meetings at the Northern Ireland Open and English Open.
Higgins and O’Sullivan arrived in the latest edition of ‘El Clasico’ off the back of lacklustre performances in their wins over Ding Junhui and Stuart Bingham respectively earlier in the day.
But the four-time World champion, who survived match ball before recovering from 3-1 down to scrape past Ding, came flying out of the blocks; crunching in a stunning opening red from the O’Sullivan break-off with a run of 86.
He then ruthlessly pounced with 92 after his opponent missed a straightforward black off its spot.
The Rocket finally got firing with a thumping long red paving the way for a wonderful break of 101.
However, a fourth frame on many twists and turns went the way of Higgins, who won the tactical battle before going 3-1 up on the black.
A wonderful 127 clearance extended the lead after the interval, while a 94 moved him to the brink of victory after O’Sullivan missed a red to the middle.
Yet another error from the Rocket in the next proved costly; a run of 63 sealing a comprehensive win for Higgins.
Champion of Champions 2021 Day Four Results
Thursday November 18
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Stuart Bingham
John Higgins 4-3 Ding Junhui
Ronnie O’Sullivan 1-6 John Higgins