Ronnie O’Sullivan to face John Higgins in Shanghai semi-final

Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins will do battle for the third time within a month on Friday when they face each other in the Shanghai Masters semi-finals.

Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins. Pictures by Monique Limbos

Both stars eased to comfortable quarter-final victory on Thursday evening with wins against Mark Williams and Liang Wenbo respectively.

Higgins will hope he can improve on last week’s showing against the five-times world champion who hammered him 6-0 in the quarter-final stages.

Their other most recent tie was a much tighter affair but O’Sullivan cam back from behind in a quality match to win 4-3 and go through to the English Open quarter-finals.

O’Sullivan proved too strong for Williams who could not follow up his brilliant win earlier in the day against world number one Mark Selby.

After a comfortable 5-1 win, O’Sullivan said: “I was happy with my performance and I handled the game well.

“I haven’t done well at events in China in the last few years so this season I wanted to make the tournaments in China the most important of the season, because I’ve had such good support here over the years and I owe the fans..”

Higgins, who beat Wenbo 5-2, said improvement was a must if he was to stand any chance of reaching the final.

“Ronnie played well against me last week in Coventry, I will need to really improve my game to have a chance because every time I look round he is clearing the table.

“If I don’t play well I won’t have a chance.”

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