/ Snooker

Ronnie O'Sullivan steamrolls John Higgins to reach Welsh Open semis

Updated: Saturday, 01 Mar 2014 16:13 | Comments

Ronnie O'Sullivan won the second of his two Welsh Open titles in 2005
Ronnie O'Sullivan won the second of his two Welsh Open titles in 2005

Ronnie O'Sullivan stormed into the semi-finals of the Welsh Open in Newport with a clinical 5-1 demolition of John Higgins on Friday afternoon.

What had looked a mouth-watering showdown on paper turned out to be a mismatch, as reigning world champion O'Sullivan secured his place in the last four with the minimum of fuss.

In a battle between players with nine world titles and five Welsh Open crowns between them, O'Sullivan took a 2-0 lead with his break of 115 in the second ending up being the highest of the match by some considerable distance.

Higgins pulled a frame back with a 51 break in the third, but that was as good as it got for the Scot as O'Sullivan comfortably won the final three frames - including a break of 65 in the fifth - to take the win.

To emphasise just how one-sided the encounter was, Higgins only managed 110 points in the whole match - 72 of which came in the third frame.

Earlier in the day, Ding Junhui survived a big scare to defeat teenager Joel Walker 5-4.

Walker, 19, looked on course for a place in the semi-finals after taking a 4-2 lead but Ding pulled the match out of the fire by winning the last three frames, including breaks of 139 and 104 in the final two.

The Chinese star is looking to win his second Welsh Open title in three years, as well as claim his fifth ranking title of the season - a feat that would equal the record of five set by Stephen Hendry in the 1990-91 season.

In the two evening matches, Barry Hawkins and Joe Perry both claimed impressive victories as they sealed their semi-finals spots.

Hawkins swept aside Marco Fu 5-0 in a triumph that included breaks of 134 and 125, and he will now take on O'Sullivan for a place in the final.

The other semi-final will see Ding face Perry, who upset world number two and 2008 Welsh Open champion Mark Selby 5-1.

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