John Higgins relishes Ronnie O’Sullivan battle as Class of 92 reach World Championship semi-finals

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Higgins, 46, showed champion’s steel to claim the final two frames and edge a dramatic last eight decider 13-12 against Jack Lisowski
Higgins, 46, showed champion’s steel to claim the final two frames and edge a dramatic last eight decider 13-12 against Jack Lisowski

By Ben Parsons at the Crucible

John Higgins set up a ‘mouthwatering’ World Championship clash against Ronnie O’Sullivan after completing an incredible semi-final line-up at the Crucible.

Higgins, 46, showed champion’s steel to claim the final two frames and edge a dramatic last eight decider 13-12 against Jack Lisowski.

The four-time winner fell 12-11 behind but was nerveless in the Crucible cauldron to produce composed winning breaks of 105 and 72.

Higgins and O’Sullivan join Mark Wiliams and Judd Trump in one of the most exciting final four line-ups in recent memory at the Sheffield showpiece.

“I struggled all day and I don’t know how I won the game really,” a drained Higgins admitted.

“When I went behind, I was wanting Jack to put me out of my misery but I managed a good break.

“I’m delighted I’m through but it’s been a tough day.”

Higgins now faces the enviable task of halting rival O’Sullivan’s tilt at matching Stephen Hendry’s elusive record of seven Crucible crowns.

The Rocket breezed past Stephen Maguire 13-5 in the last eight and is in ominous form as he prepares for battle with Higgins once again.

Higgins said: “I can’t wait. It’s why I play this game and have put a lot of effort in, so I can have a crack at Ronnie in the one table set-up.

“He’s chasing Hendry’s seven so it’s a massive aim for him but I’m chasing my fifth.

“It’s a mouthwatering match with a lot of history and I’m sure we’ll have a good game.

He added: “Ronnie’s the greatest. I said it when I first saw him play snooker that he’s got that magic stardust.

“I’ve always said I’m proud of playing in an era with him.”

It is the first-time snooker’s legendary Class of 92 of Higgins, O’Sullivan and Williams have all made the one-table setup since 1999.

The trio, who graduated as professionals three decades ago, share 13 world titles between them and all have the chance to become the oldest world champion in the modern era should they claim the Crucible crown.

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