Snooker news - Ronnie O'Sullivan and Tom Ford through to UK Championship semi-finals
Ronnie O'Sullivan is through to the semi-finals of the UK Championship after a routine 6-1 win over Martin O'Donnell at the York Barbican.
O'Sullivan opened his quarter-final against O’Donnell with a century break and sealed victory with another, edging closer to a record 19 tournament wins in ‘Triple Crown’ events – the World and UK Championships, and Masters.
O'Donnell went into the contest having reached his third ranking quarter-final after beating Ding Junhui, but he missed a long brown in a costly mistake in the opening frame as O'Sullivan's 983rd career century helped him establish a foothold.
The defending champion took a two-frame lead at the mid-session after a spectacular long blue - and he went on to take a cagey fifth frame to stretch his lead to 4-1.
A break of 81 then put him on the brink of victory, and he finished off with another century to cap another majestic performance and advance to an 11th UK Championship semi-final.
O'Sullivan said: "I've felt good every match and I really am enjoying playing. Sometimes if you're not potting you have to be patient, and today I felt focused.
"Martin definitely didn't roll over. He was solid and kept it tight. I was fortunate to lead 3-1 and that allowed me to settle and punish the mistakes he did make.
"Semi-finals are the worst matches as you don't want to fall at that hurdle. It's a big match, and I'm just pleased to be there."
O'Donnell told Eurosport afterwards: "It was very frustrating. I missed too many balls which you can't afford to do at this level.
"I fought until the very end and I should've won the frame after the interval, but at 4-1 he was in cruise control.
"It was a great experience to play someone like Ronnie. I just have to take the positives from it and try to build on it."
O'Sullivan, who can surpass Steve Davis' record of six UK titles, will play Tom Ford for a place in the final after the world number 36 beat Joe Perry 6-2 in the other quarter-final in Friday's afternoon session.
Ford raced into a 4-0 lead thanks to breaks of 76 and 80 and did not allow Perry to gain momentum despite the latter scoring 121 to win frame five.
Perry dominated the seventh to keep the match alive, but he never truly got going as the man from Leicester secured the biggest win of his career to progress to his first ranking semi-final in two years.
Ford is guaranteed £35,000 in prize money having reached the final four, but he told Eurosport: "I wasn't thinking of the pay day, I just wanted to get to the semi-finals.
"Joe didn't get off to the best of starts and I'm pleased to have capitalise on that."
On facing O'Sullivan in the semi-finals, Ford added: "It's not going to be a marathon. Neither of us hang around, we like to get our work done quickly. I'll be taking it as it comes and I've got a chance."