Ronnie O'Sullivan too good for old rival John Higgins
Updated 10:54pm Friday 28th February 2014 in Sport
SNOOKER'S clash of the titans at the BetVictor Welsh Open turned out a one-sided affair as Ronnie O'Sullivan beat John Higgins 5-1 to reach the semi-finals at the Newport Centre.
The much-anticipated match-up brought two of the sport's greatest players together, with nine World Championship titles between them.
But it was O'Sullivan, who has five world crowns and is chasing his third Welsh Open title, who proved easily the stronger player as he cruised through to a semi-final meeting with Barry Hawkins tomorrow at 7pm.
O'Sullivan has lost just one frame in each of the five matches he has played in this event and he celebrated victory over Higgins in a ranking event for the first time since at the 2009 Shanghai Masters.
"Any win against John, whether he is playing well or not, is always a feather in anybody's cap," said O'Sullivan.
"To me he is the complete player, if I am really on my game I know I can stay with him. But if I am slightly off and he's on then it is just a mismatch really because he is too good.
"If he had played well today he probably would have beaten me, but at the moment I am better at playing bad and winning.
"I am an instinctive player but John is a more technical and deliberate player, so he might struggle to manufacture shots.
"He has the perfect technique whereas I am a bit more like Alex Higgins - I move a bit and twitch them in or flick them in, but John can't play like that.
"I feel like I have turned a corner in my mental attitude," he added. "I don't get so up or so down, I know that each match is different, each day is different.
"The reality is that even if I don't feel like I am playing my best, I still manage to compete against the guys so I have to ignore how I am feeling sometimes and just accept the results."
Hawkins was equally impressive in beating Mark Williams' conqueror Marco Fu 5-0, while Joe Perry is also through to the last four after a surprise 5-1 win over Mark Selby.
Perry will take on Ding Junhai at 1pm tomorrow after the Chinese star edged out teenager Joel Walker 5-4 earlier today.
Tickets are still available for the semi-finals at the Newport Centre tomorrow and the final on Sunday.