Ronnie O’Sullivan dominates John Higgins to set up World Championship final against Judd Trump

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O’Sullivan, 46, remains firmly on course to equal Stephen Hendry’s record of seven Crucible crowns
O’Sullivan, 46, remains firmly on course to equal Stephen Hendry’s record of seven Crucible crowns

By Ben Parsons at the Crucible

Ronnie O’Sullivan defeated John Higgins 17-11 as he dominated his great rival to reach the World Championship final.

O’Sullivan, 46, remains on course to equal Stephen Hendry’s record of seven Crucible crowns and is now one match from creating history.

The Rocket completely outscored four-time champion Higgins with four century breaks plus a further 11 runs of above 50 to secure a showpiece final against Judd Trump.

Gutsy Scot Higgins was far from his best despite taking an early 3-0 advantage, and the irrepressible O’Sullivan looked at ease as he soared through to his eighth world final.

"I knew I had to keep my rhythm and flow and play what I think is the type of snooker you need to win tournaments,” O’Sullivan said.

“In this modern day you have to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

"I decided at 3-0 down I had no rhythm so I just wanted to change something in my game.

“I tried to keep my tempo up because I always play better when I think less so I made a conscious effort to play the first shot I see and take charge of my own game.”

O’Sullivan ultimately overwhelmed Higgins with his supreme break-building as he sealed the final two frames needed after taking an ominous 15-9 lead into the final session.

And Higgins was left despondent after mustering just one break above 70 in the whole match.

“I’m disappointed with the way I played, I was really poor,” Higgins admitted.

“As an occasion, sharing that stage with the great man over three days was amazing.

“Ronnie was lethal. I can’t remember him missing when he was in and about the balls.

“Every time he got a chance he cleared up or played a good safety and killed the frame off.

“But deep down I didn’t have a run of frames in me that would give him a go. I was nowhere near good enough.”

O’Sullivan’s tantalising final against Trump is a battle of the two most exciting players of their eras.

Trump has the upper hand by winning eight of their 11 finals, but determined O’Sullivan is the in-form player as looks to complete a magnificent seven.

O’Sullivan described 2019 champion Trump as a ‘tough nut to crack’ ahead of the final.

Earlier, Trump had come through a Crucible classic to reach his third world final after edging past Mark Williams 17-16 in a dramatic decider.

The world number four had led 12-5 and showed superb resilience to bounce back from falling 16-15 behind against the inspired Welshman to claim the final two frames in breathless drama.

Trump revealed after beating Williams that O’Sullivan was a dream final opponent.

O’Sullivan responded: “He’s seen me growing up watching me play snooker with John [Higgins] and Mark Williams.

“I know what it was like watching Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis growing up.

“You just idolise these people and never think you’re going to get to play them and then you do and you think ‘wow, amazing’.

“It will be a great match. If we can both play well it will be fantastic but it’s a tough venue and it's tough to play well in all four sessions.”

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