Ronnie O’Sullivan will play Jordan Brown in the 2021 Welsh Open final after sweeping aside Mark Williams 6-1 at Celtic Manor Resort on Saturday.
Despite losing the opening frame, the Rocket reeled off the next six in succession – hitting a top break of 102 along the way – to record his 32nd victory over the Welshman in 40 attempts.
Through to his sixth Welsh Open final – and 56th in a ranking event – O’Sullivan is now just one win away from lifting the Ray Reardon Trophy and equalling John Higgins’ record of five titles.
The six-time World champion entered his latest showdown with his fellow ‘class of 92’ member having dropped just a single frame all week in Newport, while he received a bye in the quarter-finals following the withdrawal of Ali Carter through illness.
However, he fell behind after missing a black off its spot; allowing Williams to draw first blood with a neat break of 73.
The home favourite was appearing in the semi-finals of this event for the first time in six years, and had a chance to double his lead in frame two.
But after rattling a long blue in the jaws of the corner pocket, the three-time World champion had to watch his opponent roar back with 102 to level.
The Rocket then established total control on the contest, with a run of 77 on the way to opening up a commanding 4-1 advantage.
A lengthy sixth frame also went his way on the brown, before a contribution of 69 was enough to see him over the line.
Separating O’Sullivan and the title is maiden ranking event finalist Brown, who comprehensively beat Stephen Maguire by the same scoreline earlier in the day.
Fresh from overcoming three-time World champion Mark Selby on the final black in the quarter-finals, the world number 81 built on his momentum by opening with a stunning break of 135.
Although Maguire replied by levelling on the black, the Antrim cueman reeled off the next five frames – with runs of 56, 113 and 59 – to secure his final berth, as well as confirming his place at next week’s Players Championship.
Welsh Open Snooker 2021 Results
Saturday February 20
Stephen Maguire 1-6 Jordan Brown
Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-1 Mark Williams