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John Higgins beats Ronnie O’Sullivan in historic Masters classic


John Higgins produced a stunning performance to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan (Picture: Getty Images)

John Higgins beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-3 in the quarter-finals of the Masters on Friday night in an absolute classic as the pair equalled the record for the number of centuries on the spin.

The Wizard of Wishaw played as well as he has done over his epic career, knocking in breaks of 145, 134 and 110 on his way to victory over the world champion.

Stephen Maguire and Neil Robertson sat the record of five centuries on the spin in the 2009 Masters quarter-finals, but Higgins and O’Sullivan matched that on Friday night.

The Rocket did very little wrong over the contest, but the unrelenting quality of the Scot could not be dealt with as he powered to victory.

‘I enjoyed it, it was a really good high standard,’ said Higgins.

‘I’m delighted the way I played there, how I turned up in a big game against one of the best players.’

O’Sullivan was harsh on himself, saying: ‘I just made too many unforced errors really, I know the breaks look good on the score sheet, but when you miss easy balls, some lax safety shots against someone like John, you’re not going to win.’

The contest was given top billing and it lived up to everything that was promised from the very start.

O’Sullivan made a break of 97 in the opening frame and Higgins levelled up in the least eventful frame of the match before the absolute barrage of scoring began.

The record-equalling run of centuries then commenced, with Higgins making a tournament-high 145 followed by 110, then Ronnie hit back with 125 and 103 to take the score to 3-3.

Neither man was wilting in the face of enormous pressure and the Scot responded with a 134 to complete the run of five tons.

He even had a chance to make it six centuries on the spin, but could only (only!) manage an 88 to go 5-3 ahead.

Ronnie had a good chance in the final frame but twitched on a red allowing Higgins to grab the win and set-up a semi-final clash with David Gilbert on Saturday evening.


MORE : John Higgins relishing Ronnie O’Sullivan test in blockbuster Masters quarter-final


MORE : David Gilbert: It’s my fault I’ve struggled and it’s up to me to get back on track

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