Stuart Bingham and Neil Robertson set up Welsh Open final show-down

Jamie Shaw in Welsh Open

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Rank outsider Joe O’Connor stuns John Higgins to reach Welsh Open Semi-Finals

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Neil Robertson v Stuart Bingham: Welsh Open final 2019 preview – Former champions aim to rule again

Stuart Bingham celebrates (credit: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Stuart Bingham and Neil Robertson will face off in the 2019 Welsh Open final after overcoming Joe O’Connor and Hossein Vafaei respectively in Cardiff on Saturday.

The two former Welsh Open winners will vie for a second dose of glory in the prestigious ranking tournament after powering past lower-ranked opposition at the Motorpoint Arena.

Robertson, who made a 147 break in the First Round, continued his ruthless run of form by whitewashing Iran’s Hossein Vafaei 6-0.

The 2007 champion signalled his intentions immediately with a break of 103 to clinch the first frame and added a 61 break to move 3-0 in front.

He then fired in a sensational clearance of 140 frame four before dominating the fifth to nil and putting the icing on the cake with a break of 83.

The Australian ace ended the contest with a 95 per cent pot success rate and restricted his opponent to just 55 points in the entire game.

Rampant Robertson whitewashes Vafaei

“I felt really good and it’s nice to be playing the game again with a smile on my face,” Robertson told BBC Wales.

“Being aggressive and scoring heavy brings out the best in me.

“I guess the nerves of the occasion got to him, which is nice when it goes your way but you have to capitalise.

“I’ve been there before when Ronnie [O’Sullivan] beat me 6-0 in the semis of the European Masters and when someone’s playing really well and you’re feeding off half-chances, it can be pretty tough out there.

“It’s going to be a good final tomorrow because we both play very aggressive and score heavily so the key will probably be who plays the best safety.”

Bingham coasted into his third Welsh Open final since 2013 after a 6-2 win over giant-killer Joe O’Connor.

The 2017 champion produced a master-class of break-building as he compiled four centuries to end the ground-breaking run of the world number 103.

The opening two frames were shared before Bingham fired in back-to-back breaks of 107 and 100 to take control.

Leicester youngster O’Connor clinched frame five to peg back, but only for Bingham to reply with stunning breaks of 104 and 125 before sealing victory with a break of 67.

“It’s just a bit surreal really,” Bingham told Eurosport.

“My game, it’s there, it’s just about getting amongst the balls and getting my timing right.

“Winning the English Open in October, I feel like my game’s better than that so I’m feeling confident about my game.”