Ronnie O’Sullivan is odds on to reach the UK Championship final for a second year running after he brushed aside Martin O’Donnell to reach the semi-final stages.
O’Sullivan now stands just two wins away from successfully defending his UK crown he won last year and becoming the tournament’s most successful player of all time with what would be his seventh UK title – a record breaking figure.
And he will be very much fancied to continue his winning ways when he takes on world number 36 Tom Ford this afternoon for a place in the final.
Ford has enjoyed his best week in snooker and an impressive 6-2 win over Joe Perry secured him a place in the UK Championship semi-finals for the first time.
But Ford will have to up the gears and produce the performance of his life if he is to record a major upset later today.
Despite not at his fluent best on Friday, O’Sullivan was simply too strong for his opponent and eased to victory against world number 59 O’Donnell, winning handsomely 6-1.
O’Sullivan’s record this season is simply superb. He’s played 26 matches so far and only lost two – one in a major ranking final in Northern Ireland, the other a semi-final loss to Mark Davis in the English Open semi-finals.
And O’Sullivan has made 36 centuries so far this season – moving his total up to a sensational 984 – just 16 away from that elusive 1,000 milestone.
Ford will have his work cut out but this is a competition which has seen an upset or two in recent days.
The second semi-final will see former world champion Stuart Bingham take on Masters winner Mark Allen.
Bingham was in superb form on Friday night as he saw off world number 11 Kyren Wilson with an impressive 6-1 victory – some feat against such a strong and in-form opponent.
Bingham almost made a 147 in the match but missed the final yellow on 120 after slightly losing control of the cueball. However, Bingham has racked up the tournament’s highest break so far having made a 145 in the third round against David Gilbert.
Having won this season’s English Open, Bingham is enjoying a successful spell yet again and a strong run this week has continued his good form. A year ago he missed the UK Championship due to his suspension from the game – now he stands one win away from reaching the final.
But next up for Bingham will be another stern test in Allen who is having a 2018 to remember having won the Masters in January and most recently the International Championship in China.
Last night Allen thrashed his close mate Stephen Maguire 6-1 and now stands one win away from reaching his second UK Championship final – his first back in 2011 when he lost narrowly to Judd Trump.
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