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Ronnie O’Sullivan thrashes Mark Selby to reach Welsh Open Semi-Finals

Jamie Shaw in Welsh Open

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Ronnie O’Sullivan v Mark Selby: Welsh Open 2020 preview – Rocket and Jester renew their rivalry

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Ronnie O’Sullivan v Kyren Wilson: Welsh Open Semi-Final preview – Rocket faces Warrior clash in Cardiff

O’Sullivan aims to secure a fifth Welsh Open crown (Photo by China Images/PA)

Ronnie O’Sullivan stormed into the Semi-Finals of the 2020 Welsh Open with a 5-1 rout of rival Mark Selby in Cardiff on Friday.

O’Sullivan, the four-time Welsh Open champion, remained on course for a record 37th career ranking title as he swept aside the 2008 champion at the Motorpoint Arena.

O’Sullivan restricted Selby to a high break of just eight in the first session as he raced into a 4-0 lead, and though ‘The Jester’ got off the mark after the interval, O’Sullivan quickly sealed the deal.

Victory sees ‘The Rocket’ through to a second ranking Semi-Final of the season and provisionally moves him into the top 16 on the one-year ranking list to bolster his Players Championship qualification hopes.

“I scored alright, Mark didn’t play his best which made it a bit more helpful for me,” O’Sullivan told BBC Wales.

“I’m a bit better now at finding my stroke a bit more and keeping my rhythm even when I’m not flowing.

“I’m committed to playing a certain way all the way through the game.

“I think I’ve had a good season, if you look at the tournaments I’ve played in, I’ve had a final, three or four quarters and a semi and I’ve won one.

“It hasn’t been that bad.

“When you haven’t been winning so much it’s nice to remind yourself you can still win, I believe I can still win.

“It’s always nice to get a bit of silverware just to clarify that.”

A 30-minute, low-scoring opening frame went the way of O’Sullivan before he hit the ground running with a sensational 142 clearance to double his lead.

The 44-year-old then followed in with successive breaks of 95 and 85 to make it 4-0, before Selby capitalised on a fluked red to get his first frame on the board.

The three-time World Champion looked to have recovered from two snookers required to clinch frame six, but a fatal error handed the frame and match on a plate to O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan now awaits the winner of the clash between defending champion Neil Robertson and Kyren Wilson in Saturday’s opening Semi-Final.