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Ronnie O’Sullivan tips Yan Bingtao for world title after reaching semis

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Ronnie O’Sullivan races clear of Stephen Maguire as Yan battles back to parity with Williams

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O’Sullivan believes Yan has the qualities to win this year’s World Championship (Imaginechina Limited / Alamy Stock Photo)

Ronnie O’Sullivan has tipped Yan Bingtao to win this year’s World Championship after booking his place in the semi-finals.

The Rocket wrapped up a commanding 13-5 victory over Stephen Maguire on Wednesday to book his place in the last four at the Crucible for a record 13th time.

Leading 11-5 overnight, the six-time World champion required just 19 minutes to seal the deal against the Maverick with swift breaks of 71 and 126.

O’Sullivan will now play either John Higgins or Jack Lisowski, who defeated pre-tournament favourite Neil Robertson 13-12 in the second round.

The Rocket believes the Australian’s premature departure epitomises the nature of snooker’s blue-riband event, which he feels is more suited to a player like Yan.

The Tiger, who dethroned reigning champion Mark Selby in round two, demonstrated his battling qualities to recover from 6-2 down and level with Mark Williams at 8-8 in his maiden Crucible quarter-final, which concludes later today.

O’Sullivan said: “I watched Neil play the other day. He’s an incredible player. I just think it’s a hard venue to play at.

“It’s not about ability or skill. You can win this tournament without those two; you’ve got to have guts, determination and a big heart.

“Someone like Yan Bingtao is probably the type of player that can win this tournament because he’s got that in spades.

“I think it just suits certain people who feel a bit more comfortable and relaxed and able to play their game.”

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