O'Sullivan eases past O'Donnell to reach 11th UK semi-final


Ronnie O’Sullivan cruises through to semi-finals – best shots

Defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan stayed on course for a record seventh UK Championship title by beating Martin O’Donnell 6-1 to reach the semi-finals.

O’Sullivan is also two victories away from a record 19 tournament wins in BBC ‘Triple Crown’ events – the World and UK Championships, and Masters.

He started with a century as the first two frames were shared, then made breaks of 79 and 81, and a further ton.

Tom Ford awaits O’Sullivan in the last four after he defeated Joe Perry 6-2.

Leicester’s Ford surged into a 4-0 lead with breaks of 76 and 80, and although Perry rallied briefly, he took the two frames he needed for victory.

O’Sullivan’s path to Sunday’s final opened up after the shock exits of world number five Judd Trump and China’s number one Ding Junhui.

Though he was irritated by moving photographers and spectators walking in and out of the arena – speaking to the referee on a number of occasions – he managed to maintain his composure against O’Donnell.

A 102 looked to have set the tone against the world number 52, who beat Ding in the previous round, and although he was pegged back to 1-1, O’Sullivan took five frames in a row to advance comfortably to his 11th UK semi-final.

“That was a tough game for me and he is a player you want to do well because he puts the work in and I’m sure he will be a top-16 player very soon,” O’Sullivan told BBC Two.

“I had never played Martin before and you never know what to expect in that situation. I didn’t know his scoring record, or his potting, so I just eased my way into it, but it was a good match because I had to be patient.”

In the evening session, Masters champion Mark Allen faces 2004 winner Stephen Maguire, while England’s Stuart Bingham plays compatriot Kyren Wilson.

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