WORLD champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is out of the UK Championship after falling to a 6-4 defeat against Stuart Bingham.
The Basildon star, ranked number ten in the world rankings, gained revenge over The Rocket following his recent defeat to him in the Champion of Champions final held in Coventry.
Bingham, who is yet to win a UK Championship title, made the stronger start as he led 3-1 at the interval with a top break of 131 to his name.
After the restart Bingham stretched his lead further to 4-1 before O’Sullivan hit back in quick fashion winning the next two frames to reduce his deficit to a single frame.
Bingham then got closer to the winning line with runs of 48 and 28 to go 5-3 ahead before O’Sullivan came back again in style with a break of 127.
But Bingham managed to close the match out in gritty style as breaks of 41 and 21 proved enough to take the match and make the semi-finals stage of the the tournament for the first time.
Bingham will face Neil Robertson in Friday’s semi-finals after he cruised into the last four with a 6-1 win over Stephen Maguire.
Defending champion Mark Selby showed once again why he is regarded one of the world’s best players after he came back from 5-3 down to beat Barry Hawkins.
Prior to tonight’s clash, Hawkins had the better of Selby after knocking him out of the past two World Championships – but Selby gained revenge tonight albeit doing it the hard way.
A 54 clearance gave Selby the opening frame before Hawkins took the next three frames to go into the interval with a 3-1 lead. A break of 142 in the fourth frame from Hawkins equalled the tournament’s highest break so far.
The next two frames were shared before Hawkins missed a long red when leading 54-10 in the seventh frame which allowed Selby to clear and reduce his deficit to 4-3.
Hawkins managed to quickly recover from the setback in the previous frame with a clearance of 53 to go just within a frame away of victory.
But with his backs to the wall and in real trouble, world number two Selby produced yet again. He dominated frame nine and then made a winning break of 77 in the next to force a decider.
The final frame lasted 53 minutes and had many twists turns but the match was decided when Hawkins missed a difficult pink with the rest and then the final green when needing to pot it. Selby then did the rest to take the match 6-5.
Selby will hope to secure a place in what would be his second straight UK Championship final when he faces Ricky Walden on Saturday.
Walden, who knocked Ding Junhui out of the tournament on Wednesday, continued his impressive run beating an out-of-sorts Mark Allen 6-2.
UK Championship 2013 – Semi-Final draw:
Mark SELBY vs Ricky WALDEN
Neil ROBERTSON vs Stuart BINGHAM