This year’s Champion of Champions tournament is hotting up nicely as we reach the semi-final stages.
Ronnie O’Sullivan, Anthony Hamilton, Luca Brecel and Shaun Murphy are the four remaining players left standing in the invitational event which will see the winner pocket a massive £100,000.
The first semi-final between O’Sullivan and Hamilton takes place tonight (Friday, 7pm) while Brecel and Murphy will battle for a place in the grand final on Saturday night at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena.
Last night saw tournament favourite O’Sullivan storm to a hugely impressive 6-0 win over defending champion John Higgins after beating Neil Robertson 4-1 in the day’s opening game. The Rocket knocked in two century breaks during the Higgins rout to set up a semi-final clash against last season’s German Masters winner Hamilton.
Hamilton was the surprise winner of Group 1 after he beat Ding Junhui in the first game of the tournament before defeating Welshman Ryan Day in the group final 6-4.
Given O’Sullivan’s sensational win over Higgins, the odds are firmly against Hamilton to pull off what would be an incredible victory this evening. The pair have played each other eleven times with Hamilton only winning on two occasions.
Friday night could also see snooker history be made with O’Sullivan on the verge of becoming the first ever player to have made 900 century breaks as a professional. O’Sullivan just needs two more century break to make this happen tonight.
The emergence of Luca Brecel continues to be a standout feature this campaign after the Belgian impressed the snooker world once again on Wednesday.
This season’s China Championship winner defeated Judd Trump emphatically 4-0 in less than an hour before he produced the goods to knock out world champion Mark Selby – winning a close fought battle 6-4.
Next for Brecel is the man who he beat in the China Championship final to lift his first ranking title – Shaun Murphy.
Murphy was the Group 2 winner on Tuesday after he beat Mark King and Michael White.