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Ronnie O’Sullivan beats Stuart Bingham to reach World Grand Prix final

Jonathan Davies in World Grand Prix

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O’Sullivan has pulled out of the WST Classic (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan will play Neil Robertson in the 2021 World Grand Prix final after a 6-2 victory over Stuart Bingham in Coventry on Saturday.

The 2018 champion is through to his third showpiece at the elite 32-man tournament, having also reached the inaugural final in 2015.

And he is now one victory away from becoming only the second player to lift the trophy on multiple occasions after three-time winner Judd Trump.

The Rocket had won 17 of his 21 previous meetings with Bingham, including a 6-0 whitewash at this stage of the 2015 World Grand Prix, but fell behind as Ballrun controlled the opening frame at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

Nevertheless, O’Sullivan responded with runs of 62 and 51 to turn the contest on its head and capitalised as uncharacteristic errors began creeping into Bingham’s game, with a 56 moving him 3-1 up at the interval.

The six-time World champion, who had dropped just four frames in his three matches so far this week, picked up from where he left off on the resumption; a break of 77 helping him move to within a frame of his maiden final this season.

This was Bingham’s third World Grand Prix semi-final – and first since narrowly losing 10-9 to Shaun Murphy in the 2016 showpiece.

The Basildon cueist, whose best performance of the campaign prior to this week was a run to the Northern Ireland Open last 16, kept his faint hopes alive with a timely break of 78.

Bingham prevailed in deciders against Ricky Walden and Ali Carter before a dominant victory over Stephen Maguire, and he threatened to apply further pressure to O’Sullivan in the following frame.

However, he missed a black off its spot, which the Rocket subsequently knocked in from distance to secure his place in the 59th ranking event final of his illustrious career.