Ronnie O’Sullivan recorded the 1100th century of his career during a hard-fought 10-8 win over John Higgins in the Tour Championship.
In a battle between the multiple world champions, O’Sullivan prevailed to reach the semi-finals, a month after losing 10-3 to Higgins in the Players Championship final.
O'Sullivan will play the winner of Judd Trump's match with Barry Hawkins for a place in the final.
Key dates and schedule for 2022-23 snooker season as O'Sullivan defends world crown
Having been level with Higgins at 3-3, O’Sullivan took command of the quarter-final when winning the final two frames of the first session before adding the first frame of the evening session on Monday night.
Twice Higgins reduced that gap to two, only for O’Sullivan to restore a three-frame advantage on both occasions.
A 1099th century of O’Sullivan’s career helped him move 8-5 in front, with the 112 the first ton since Higgins’ 101 in the fourth frame.
A stray blue from O’Sullivan then saw Higgins clear up and again bring the deficit back down to two frames at 8-6, and it was soon one frame when the Scot recorded a 70.
Century No 1100 arrived in the 15th frame for O’Sullivan as a 101 helped him edge towards victory.
Leading 47-0 in his bid to win the 16th frame, Higgins’ sloppy safety shot gifted O’Sullivan a chance to return to the table.
However, a bad kick prompted O’Sullivan to whack his cue on the end of the table as an opportunity to win the match went begging. “Wholly understandable given the situation of the match,” said Alan McManus on commentary. “But you don’t want to do that too often.”
Higgins took full advantage with a 33 to wrap up the frame, and then the next, but from 9-8 O’Sullivan halted the prospect of a comeback - securing the match in a tense 18th frame which he initially failed to seal at 69-0 up, but prevailed after a wayward Higgins shot on the yellow.
The Tour Championship runs from March 22-28 and features the top eight players from the one-year ranking list.
Tuesday sees Neil Robertson take on Jack Lisowski in the second quarter-final.
World Championship qualifiers to be played over 19 frames
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