John Higgins says Ronnie O’Sullivan “would cement his place” as snooker’s greatest player of all time by securing a seventh Crucible crown.
The Rocket advanced to his eighth World Championship final on Saturday after completing a commanding 17-11 win over his fellow Class of ’92 member.
There, victory over Judd Trump would move him level with Stephen Hendry on seven World titles.
O’Sullivan had lost all three meetings with Higgins this season, but stopped the rot in dominant fashion.
Leading 10-6 overnight, the six-time champion hit breaks of 134, 121, 101 and 82 to establish a healthy 15-9 advantage heading into the final session.
Further runs of 83 and 67 were enough for the Rocket to seal the deal in his record-breaking 13th Crucible semi-final.
The long-standing debate continues regarding the greatest snooker player of all time, with O’Sullivan and Hendry the two candidates.
However, there is no doubt in the mind of Higgins, who feels the 20-time major winner will only consolidate that status by overcoming Trump on Monday.
“I think [the seventh title] would cement his place in everybody’s eyes,” the Scotsman said.
“A lot of people would still hold onto Stephen having the seven World Championships; people would say he’s still the greatest. But there’s no debate in my eyes.
“He’s a different animal than he’s ever been. He was scrapping for everything and didn’t let anything get on top of him.
“It was a privilege spending the three days with him out there on that stage. It was a brilliant feeling being out there, but it was also painful as well. I’m bitterly disappointed with the way I played.
“There’s only been one session – maybe at the end against Noppon [Saengkham] – that I actually felt good throughout the whole tournament.
“The rest of the tournament, I was just scrapping; against someone like Ronnie, you cannot win by just scrapping the balls about.”