O'Sullivan reaches last four with session to spare

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-5-1 8:45:46

Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan advanced to the semifinals of the World Snooker Championship after crushing Shaun Murphy 13-3 with a session to spare in Sheffield on Wednesday.

For the first time since he beat Anthony Hamilton 13-3 a decade ago, O'Sullivan won a quarterfinal match with a session remaining. He was due to complete his battle with Murphy this evening, but instead he'll have extra time to prepare for his last-four clash with Barry Hawkins or Dominic Dale.

In truth the match could have been much closer, as Murphy led 2-0 early on and had chances in most of the frames. But a series of crucial misses from the Manchester-based potter allowed O'Sullivan a comfortable passage as he continued his quest for a third consecutive world title and sixth in all.

The Rocket, who has now made six centuries during the tournament plus 18 more breaks over 50, has now won 13 consecutive matches at the Crucible and will be hard to stop over the next five days.

Former world No. 1 Mark Selby also booked a semifinal berth, his first since 2010, with a resounding 13-5 victory over Alan McManus.

From 3-2 down, Selby won 11 of the next 13 frames as he eased through to the last four, where he will face Judd Trump or Neil Robertson. Though he has not won a ranking title this season, Selby has shown an impressive level of consistency, reaching the final of the UK Championship and Masters.

He looked set for a tight and tactical battle against McManus in the early stages of their quarter-final tussle, but Selby played some of his best snooker of the season in last night's second session as he stormed clear. That will leave the 30-year-old from Leicester full of confidence as he aims to reach his second world final, having been denied the title by John Higgins in 2007.

Posted in: Eye on the ball

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