Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins lock horns for a place in the Semi-Finals of the Champion of Champions in Bolton on Thursday.
The ‘Class of 92′ rivals collide for the second televised event in succession as O’Sullivan bids to avenge his 6-5 defeat in the recent English Open.
O’Sullivan overcame Stuart Bingham 4-2 in this afternoon’s Group Semi-Finals, while Higgins edged out Ding Junhui in a last-frame decider.
O’Sullivan boasts a superb record in the Champion of Champions, having reached the final in five of his seven previous appearances.
Winner in 2013, 2014 and 2018, O’Sullivan has only once failed to progress from the Group Stage, with that blemish coming 12 months ago with defeat to Mark Allen in a heated contest.
The six-time World Champion is competing in his fifth event of the season, having pulled out midway through the Championship League before suffering a Third Round defeat to Yan Bingtao in the Northern Ireland Open and a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Hossein Vafaei in the German Masters qualifiers.
He then reached the Semi-Finals of the English Open – where he was edged out in a last-frame thriller by Higgins.
O’Sullivan last tasted success in a televised tournament at the 2020 World Championship and has subsequently lost in five finals.
Higgins is an ever-present in the Champion of Champions since the event began in 2013 and notably lifted the title in 2016 courtesy of a 10-7 success over O’Sullivan in the final.
The four-time World Champion came into this event on the back of consecutive final appearances but had to settle for the runner-up spot in both the Northern Ireland Open and English Open.
This will be the 70th competitive meeting between the two players since 1994, with O’Sullivan winning 35 of their encounters to Higgins’ 31, plus three draws.
Their latest show-down gets under way from 7pm GMT and will be contested over the best of 11 frames at the Bolton Whites Hotel.
Masters Champion Yan Bingtao will await the winner in the Semi-Finals on Saturday.
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