Scottish Open: John Higgins whitewashes Ronnie O'Sullivan to reach semis


John Higgins is eyeing a 30th ranking title, and second this season

John Higgins whitewashed Ronnie O’Sullivan in a ranking event for the first time in 23 years to reach the Scottish Open semi-finals.

The Scot rattled in three consecutive century breaks – 109, 117 and 105 – to open up a 4-0 interval lead.

‘The Rocket’, who has won three ranking titles recently, rallied briefly but a 72 break from Higgins sealed a 5-0 win.

Higgins will next face Neil Robertson, who beat China’s Xiao Guodong 5-4, while Judd Trump beat Stephen Maguire.

It was the first time since the 1994 Grand Prix that O’Sullivan had failed to take a frame against Higgins in a ranking event.

Earlier, Trump ended Maguire’s run at his home tournament with a 5-2 victory.

Trump is targeting a second ranking title of the season after winning the European Masters in October

Trump won the first two frames before the Glaswegian replied, but the world number three made it 4-1 and a 43 clearance in the seventh sealed it.

He will play either Ricky Walden or Chinese player Cao Yupeng in the other semi-final at 13:00 GMT on Saturday, with Higgins-Robertson to follow at 19:00.

Robertson rattled in consecutive centuries from 2-1 down – 114 and 128 – and seized his chance to seal victory from Guodong’s break-off in the decider.

He believes his recent commitment to extensive practice is paying off.

“The last couple of months, with the amount of practice I am doing, I am seeing my game reach another level, particularly in the scoring department,” he said.

“I feel as if I am playing better than I ever have done. If I keeper producing these kind of performances, opponents know that if they miss, I am going to clear the table.”

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