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Bingham sends O’Sullivan crashing out of World Championship

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Stuart Bingham celebrates (Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo)

Ronnie O’Sullivan crashed out of the 2024 World Championship after going down 13-10 to an inspired Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals.

The 2015 Crucible king recovered from 8-6 down and reeled off the last three frames from 10-10 to book his place in the semi-finals, while ensuring the Rocket’s wait for a record-breaking eighth World crown continues.

An emotional Bingham, who also reached the last four in 2021, secured his third appearance in the one-table setup at the Crucible, where he will play Jak Jones.

The latter also claimed a huge scalp on a day of shock results as he defeated Judd Trump 13-9, while Kyren Wilson and David Gilbert complete this year’s semi-final line-up.

“I had a little cry in my dressing room,” he said. “I was competing with the world’s best player and I was just enjoying every second out there.

“I’ve started producing good snooker. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with Ronnie and come out on top.

“My record against him isn’t great, but I went out there and something just clicked in my game.

“It’s tough [to win the tournament], because you know what comes with it. I’ve got to get back focused because I’ve got another three days here in the semi-finals.

“I’m the only one left that’s got their hands on the trophy, so I’m sure there’ll be extra pressure.”

Resuming their clash at 4-4, Bingham and O’Sullivan shared the next four frames of their third Crucible quarter-final meeting.

The Rocket prevailed 13-4 on the way to winning his fifth World title in 2013, though Ballrun exacted revenge two years later en route to his fairy-tale triumph.

O’Sullivan punished two glaring misses by his opponent with runs of 79 and 84 to go 8-6 up, but Bingham responded brilliantly with breaks of 125 and 92 to level at 8-8 heading into the evening’s conclusion.

The Rocket came out firing with a magnificent 136 total clearance, but Bingham replied with contributions of 36 and 63 for 9-9.

Ballrun then produced a cool 67 clearance to the blue to edge his nose in front after O’Sullivan had broken down on 39 in frame 19, though a run of 62 from 40-0 down eventually proved enough for the seven-time champion to make it 10-10.

A tight 21st frame – briefly interrupted by the disturbance of fans returning to the other side of the arena – went Bingham’s way as he cleared after the Rocket missed a tricky final red with the rest.

The world number 29 then pounced on a missed black off its spot by O’Sullivan with a magnificent 104 clearance to move within a frame of a remarkable victory.

Bingham established early control in the next as he built a 52-0 lead, but missed a routine pink to the right centre when just a few balls away from sealing frame and match.

O’Sullivan rallied with 48 until he rattled a tricky yellow, allowing Bingham a further opportunity that he did not pass up.

“It’s just the way it goes sometimes,” O’Sullivan told the BBC.

“I’m actually really happy to be honest, I feel like I’m actually getting through the ball, which is more important for me at this stage. It’s been a worrying couple of years.

“It’s not the win I’d have liked to have had, but that’s snooker. Good luck to Stuart, he played a fantastic match and deserved his victory.”

Next up for Bingham is a semi-final clash with fellow qualifier Jones, who marched into uncharted territory at the Crucible by defeating Trump.

Resuming at 8-8 just a few hours after concluding their second session, the world number two continued to struggle to produce the performance levels that have led him to five ranking titles this season.

World number 44 Jones, who reached the quarter-finals on debut 12 months ago, took full advantage, winning five of the six frames to claim yet another huge scalp in only his second appearance here.

Elsewhere, Wilson secured his fourth appearance in the semi-finals after an impressive 13-8 victory over John Higgins, avenging his 13-2 drubbing by the Scotsman at last year’s tournament.

Leading 5-3 overnight, the Warrior won four of the opening five frames for a 9-4 lead, but Higgins took the last three of the session to only trail by two once more.

The four-time champion, who produced an astonishing 71 clearance from 62-0 down to snatch a dramatic 13-12 victory over Mark Allen in the second round of his 30th Crucible appearance, cut the deficit to a single frame at 9-8 after taking the opener in the final session.

However, it was one-way traffic thereon with Wilson hitting breaks of 56 and 101, before a lovely 61 clearance from 54-8 behind saw him over the line.

“I’m really proud of the way I held myself together,” the 2020 runner-up told Eurosport. “I stayed really resilient and my mental strength was really strong.

“It’s not easy to come back after getting such a hammering from John last year. I managed to put that to the back of my mind. There’s nothing I can do about the past, so I just focused on the present.

“It’s great to see [John] back playing so well; it obviously brought out the best in me.”

Higgins told the BBC: “He was far too powerful for me. He played great. It was a brilliant performance.

“He just powered through the winning line, I didn’t really have a lot of resistance.

“I came here to win the tournament – and I’ve bowed out tamely in a way. But all credit, Kyren played fantastic.”

That set up a last-four clash with Gilbert, who wrapped up a 13-8 win over Stephen Maguire.

From 10-6 up overnight, the Angry Farmer won three of the five frames today to advance to his second Crucible semi-final – five years after his first.

“It was an impossible thought not too long ago, but I’m in the semis and feeling great,” the world number 31 said.

“It is a massive achievement. Only five weeks ago or so, I couldn’t be bothered to play in the qualifiers.

“I have a lot of confidence in myself and am motivated to prove to myself that I can go out and play.

“I miss being a top-16 player. I have had times in my career where I have pressed the self-destruct button. But the motivation is back now. If I am sitting here on Monday night with the trophy, no one could be more proud.”

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World Snooker Championship 2024 | Day 12 Results

Wednesday May 1

Quarter-Finals

Judd Trump 9-13 Jak Jones
David Gilbert 8-13 Stephen Maguire
Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-13 Stuart Bingham
Kyren Wilson 13-8 John Higgins