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Neil Robertson rumbles Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Players Championship

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Robertson claimed his fourth victory in five meetings with O’Sullivan

Neil Robertson booked his place in the Players Championship semi-finals with a 6-3 victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan in Wolverhampton on Thursday.

The Thunder claimed his fourth win in five meetings with the Rocket to advance to the last four of the elite event at Aldersley Leisure Village.

This was their third clash in as many months; O’Sullivan prevailing 10-8 in the World Grand Prix final before Christmas, with Robertson exacting his revenge at this stage of the Masters 6-4.

The Australian, who turns 40 on Friday, appeared fatigued from the effects of a recent positive COVID-19 test during his first-round win over Kyren Wilson.

However, the world number four looked sharp from the off three days later; a break of 79 seeing him strike first.

Two-time champion O’Sullivan responded with 98, but further runs of 52, 82 and 80 put Robertson 4-1 to the good.

The Rocket stopped the rot in the following frame; a fluke on the opening red paving the way for a timely 90 clearance.

He then took a scrappy seventh that came down to the final red, which he sunk before clearing to move to within one of his opponent.

But three-time runner-up Robertson held his nerve by winning the next two frames to set up a semi-final date with either John Higgins or Jimmy Robertson.

Earlier in the day, Barry Hawkins prevailed 6-5 in an epic encounter with Yan Bingtao, who narrowly missed out despite three centuries and a 98.

The Tiger had never beaten the Hawk in three previous meetings, but came roaring out of the blocks with magnificent breaks of 139 and 103.

Hawkins – winner of this event in 2014 – responded with 86, 77 and 95 to turn the contest on its head, but Yan restored parity with 54.

The next four frames were also shared. The former Masters champion hit breaks of 98 and 132 – his sixth century of the tournament – but his opponent responded with a brilliant 126 clearance to force a decider.

And it was the recent Masters runner-up who prevailed; a timely break of 73 sending him through to his third semi-final of the season, where he will play Ricky Walden.


Players Championship Snooker 2022 Schedule

Thursday February 10


Barry Hawkins 6-5 Yan Bingtao
Ronnie O’Sullivan 3-6 Neil Robertson