John Higgins - Ronnie O'Sullivan
That's us for today
Key dates and schedule for 2022-23 snooker season as O'Sullivan defends world crown
What a day it's been at the Crucible, with one of the all-time great semi-finals between Judd Trump and Mark Williams and another chapter of this legendary, endless rivalry between Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins. We've got two days left, and potentially a final for the ages. It's Ronnie versus Judd for the big one, and we'll be with every shot from 12.45pm BST tomorrow.
Take care out there until then, night night.
We've got the greatest player of all-time against the most devastating, trophy-collecting force of the past four seasons in the final, for two days and maybe for 35 frames. What a treat, a joy, a finale to what's been a brilliant tournament. This is a final we've all wanted to see for years; it's Ronnie's eighth, and Judd's third. Ronnie has won six, and if he's holding the trophy on Monday night he'll draw level for modern-era world titles with the great Stephen Hendry. If Judd takes it, then it changes the whole conversation about where he stands in the roll call of the game's great players as he'll become only the seventh player to win the world title at the Crucible more than once. Bring it on, I can't wait.
Ronnie O'Sullivan cruises through to the final
He's looking good this year, eh? After beating David Gilbert 10-5, Mark Allen 13-4 and Stephen Maguire 13-5, Ronnie gradually pulled away from John Higgins in this semi-final to secure a comfortable victory. The damage was done in sessions two and three, where Ronnie's combo of concussive scoring and dramatic dishes to win frames held off a game John Higgins, who was admittedly below par but is still John Higgins. It's been an undeniably impressive run to the final, and who among us can't wait for that to get going. In his post match interview John calls it a privilege to spend three days in the one table situation with Ronnie, but is obviously pained that he didn't bring his A game to the party. He can still beat most players when that happens, but not Ronnie in this mood. 'He was lethal,' says John. I'll say.
O'Sullivan 17-11 Higgins
We don't get the three figures, but an 83 from Ronnie sets up a mouth-watering final with Judd Trump.
O'Sullivan 16-11 Higgins (75-0)
He's done it! Ronnie plants in frame ball red and the pink for insurance, before closing the book on this match by driving in a red to the bottom right with the rest. Can he sign off with a century?
O'Sullivan 16-11 Higgins (60-0)
With black and blue open, Ronnie starts to picks off the reds and most of them are split around the pink spot. He's quickly added 43, and a superb red to right middle to hold for the black opens up other reds and tomorrow's final is now on the horizon.
O'Sullivan 16-11 Higgins (17-0)
Ronnie gets in first in frame 28 with a glorious red into the bottom right to drop on the black. He's into the pack soon after but the split doesn't work as the white hugs them and doesn't move. He might make his next chance count though, as John leaves a red on to the right middle and Ronnie tags it in to land on the pink in baulk.
O'Sullivan 16-11 Higgins
There's one of the seven needed, as John clears up to the pink. Can he win the next, and take us beyond the interval?
O'Sullivan 16-10 Higgins (40-55)
Ronnie's snooker yields four, which John gets back immediately from a snooker of his own. When Ronnie does swerve his way out of it at the second attempt he leaves the red on to the bottom left, and John launches it in to land on the pink.
O'Sullivan 16-10 Higgins (36-50)
John hits the front quickly, but will need a red that's close to the left rail to do this in one go. He can't manage it, and after making a round half-ton he leaves Ronnie a good snooker to deal with. Ronnie trusts to luck, escapes, and flukes one of his own.
O'Sullivan 16-10 Higgins (36-1)
It's a huge reprieve here for John, as Ronnie misses a tight red to the bottom left and it's end of break. He was forced into that after a poor attempt to hold the blue spot didn't work out, and these have to go if John is to keep his dwindling chances alive in this match.
O'Sullivan 16-10 Higgins (23-1)
John's margin for error is now no longer visible to the naked eye. He's got a chance in frame 27 though, as Ronnie has a bash at a long red, misses and leaves the white in the middle of the table. John blasts in a red that clips another on its way into the bottom left, possibly a fluke although he doesn't apologise. He then misses a pink to the right middle, and he's left Ronnie everything. In co-comms, Fouldsy thinks John is a beaten man. Given the spread left for Ronnie here, that might be literally true in a few minutes.
O'Sullivan 16-10 Higgins
It's done now, as John leaves the red on straight to right middle. Ronnie clears to the brown, and he's one frame away from his eighth final.
O'Sullivan 15-10 Higgins (67-31)
John lands one snooker, from which Ronnie slides by the red and crashes into the pink. Hello, hello, a chance for John here? Ronnie gets a look at a cut on red to green pocket a few shots later but can't convert it, and on we go.
O'Sullivan 15-10 Higgins (67-25)
It's 67 for Ronnie before he misses a red to bottom left and leaves it there. John needs two snookers to rescue this one, and picks off a couple of red and blacks before going for it off the final red.
O'Sullivan 15-10 Higgins (53-9)
Ronnie looks to have shaken off that missed black quickly, and he hoovers up a half-century. There's enough in the open for him to bank the frame at this visit.
O'Sullivan 15-10 Higgins (27-9)
Was that careless positional shot still on John's mind? He misses a bullet straight, longish red to the bottom right by a long way, and he's left a cut back to the bottom left. Ronnie strokes it in, and then manages to harness position by cutting the blue into the right middle. There's an absolute load on here for Ronnie, and he starts taking them. John is in his chair, looking as frustrated as you'd imagine.
O'Sullivan 15-10 Higgins (0-9)
A long safety exchange opens frame 26. The table looks very dangerous, very quickly and John cracks first, leaving a red over the bottom left again for Ronnie. It's a big chance, but Ronnie rattles it furiously in the jaws and it stays out. Well now! John bullets a red across the table and into the right middle, and he's away. It looks like snooker's equivalent of an open net, but somewhat unbelievably he snookers himself on pink and black immediately and it's end of break on nine. What a chance he's let slide there.
O'Sullivan 15-10 Higgins
There's one rung on the ladder. A break of 69 from John is enough for the frame, and he's not lacking for encouragement from a raucous crowd in the Crucible.
O'Sullivan 15-9 Higgins (5-60)
John sails to a half-century, and a nice shot on the black leaves him perfect on a red underneath the pink spot. He'll need that and a colour to pass the winning post in this one.
O'Sullivan 15-9 Higgins (5-15)
If he's to have a shy at this, John can't leave anything easy early on. Unfortunately for him, he soon leaves a red right over the bottom left and Ronnie gobbles it up to land on the green. It already looks ominous given the state of the table, until Ronnie misses a shocker of a black off its spot! Those kind of elementary mistakes will give John a puncher's chance too, if he can cash them in. Accordingly, he starts to do so.
Rob Walker baizes these legendary boys, and we're underway. Ronnie needs two, John needs eight; let's get about it.
John split the first session with Ronnie, but has since watched his great rival gradually pull away in this semi-final. Where Ronnie has been scoring, John hasn't; that's led to audible and visible frustration for the Wizard, who has not only watched Ronnie hog the lion's share of the frames but produced some sensational clearances to do so. Where John isn't quite on his game, Ronnie very much is. There's a sharpness to the Rocket that's reminiscent of his form around 2012-14. Everything is locked in - his concentration, his cue action, his rhythm - and he's shaking off the rare mistakes he makes quickly. Ronnie has been awesome in this tournament so far, and John has it all on to reel him in tonight.
Once more unto the breach
Right, that's enough of a breather so let's press on, shall we? We've seen one against-all-odds comeback in these semi-finals so far, let's see if we get another. The finale of Ronnie O'Sullivan versus John Higgins is incoming.
That's us for now
Judd is through to his third World Championship final, and is chasing his second title. We'll be back shortly to find out whether Ronnie O'Sullivan will skip over the line to join him, or whether John Higgins can fight back and give us two semi-final jaw-droppers in one day.
Judd Trump pips Mark Williams in a Crucible classic
Wow, as I believe the astounded say. That was one of the most engrossing battles I've ever seen at the World Championship, and for a long time it looked like Mark might pull off the biggest comeback in the history of Crucible semi-finals. After going from 12-5 down to lead and move within one frame of the final, it seemed that he'd broken Judd and was destined to win. What moxie though from the 2019 world champion; he ground out two frames to nick it at the death, despite having been outplayed in the last two sessions. These are four session matches though, and what Judd did in the first two were the bedrock of his victory; when Mark reflects on this, he'll surely rue that first session where he struggled and left himself six frames in arrears.
It's really not a time for that, mind; stand up both players, because that was just fantastic.
Trump 17-16 Williams
It's over! Judd rolls the blue into the yellow pocket, and one of the most epic semi-finals we've over seen here has been decided.
Trump 16-16 Williams (64-34)
Judd leaves the brown in the jaws of the green pocket so Mark has no option but to pot it. Mark then lands his fifth snooker of this stanza on the blue, but Judd escapes that too.
Trump 16-16 Williams (64-30)
It's getting tougher for Mark, who pots the green and is running out of options here. He's landing snookers, but Judd keeps getting out of them. It looks a forlorn task now.
Trump 16-16 Williams (64-27)
Mark pots the yellow when he has little other option, and keeps plugging away for the snookers he needs. How must he be feeling after that blue to the left middle? It was a tough shot under any circumstances.
Trump 16-16 Williams (64-25)
He's got it! The relief on his face is a picture, although he's not perfect on the black. It's a cut back to the bottom right, and Judd glides it in! What a few shots he's pulled out there, just when he needed them. Mark returns to the table, but he needs three snookers just to tie.
Trump 16-16 Williams (56-25)
Mark takes three reds and blacks, but can't get on any of the three remaining reds and has to play back to baulk. The yellow he was snookered behind earlier is still there, and Judd returns to the table welded to it. From there, Judd fashions a super, deadweight escape off three cushions, and what a tussle we could be in for now. Judd cross-doubles one of the reds, but can't then land a snooker of his own; the tension out there I can only imagine. Soon after, he pulls off the same shot again, and he's got the angle on the brown to go down for frame ball red! The brown goes, and he's straight on the red...
Trump 16-16 Williams (50-1)
Judd moves to the cusp of a half-century in one of the most important visits of his life. To ring in 50 he'll need to dispatch a tricky cut down the rail into the bottom right with the rest...and he's left it in the jaws after overcutting it! Whatever next here, can Mark possibly do a miracle dish and nick it?
Trump 16-16 Williams (27-1)
Slowly but surely, Judd is working this out. He clears a route for the pink to be available in multiple pockets, and then the black. The easy reds are disappearing, but there are still five either on or close to cushions that Mark will be hoping might bail him here.
Trump 16-16 Williams (1-1)
What a match. Both players get a standing ovation as they return to the arena, shake hands and smile and then Trump waves his arms around to encourage them to pump up the volume. The crowd respond, as well they should; they've really seen something here, and it's about to be settled one way or the other.
Judd gets the first real chance of the frame, but misses a tough red to the right middle. He then misses a red to the bottom right by a long way, but flukes a red into the bottom left! What a slice of fortune, but he can't cash it in with a heavy visit as he hasn't got the angle to get back down the table from the yellow in baulk. Instead, he drops Mark in serious lumber by tucking him in tight behind said yellow. There are reds scattered all over, and this is a nightmare to get safe. If Mark can't make that so, he's probably going home; after three minutes of deliberation he throws caution to the wind, and smashes into the reds off one cushion. The balls go all over...and he's fluked one back! Oh my. He then has to convert a brutally tough cut on blue to left middle to keep going, and overcuts it. Judd is in, and if he can negotiate this Jackson Pollack-esque splattering of reds, he can score heavily.
Trump 16-16 Williams
Mark pots the blue when he has little choice, and finally concedes when he leaves the pink on. After three days of battle it all comes down to this: a one frame shoot out for a place in the final.
Trump 15-16 Williams (53-26)
When the opportunity arises Mark pots the yellow, and comes within a whisker of a snooker behind the black from his next shot. Judd then converts the green, and Mark's task is now twice as hard. When the brown is left over the yellow pocket Mark puts it away, and two five-point snookers can win the frame. Although the pink and black are well positioned, it's a huge ask.
Trump 15-16 Williams (50-20)
Mark shorts a safety, and Judd drops in a long-ish red to the bottom left to leave Mark needing a snooker. No colour follows so there's a chance for Mark who pots red and blue and will go for the four-pointer off the colours.
Trump 15-16 Williams (49-14)
He's digging deep here. Judd goes around the angles off the brown to land on a red on the bottom cushion, and this is frame ball. Inexplicably, he tries to force it rather than make sure and the bottom right spits it back out, but the red runs safe. Will he regret that? There's 43 left and Mark's still in it.
Trump 15-16 Williams (31-14)
It's only 24 for Judd, who's head sinks as he loses position on the pink and has to play safe back to baulk. From there, another preposterous deadweight long red from Mark is dispatched, but he doesn't find position either and has to go back to baulk. Judd then goes on the offensive, gliding in a long red to gain control of the frame again.
Trump 15-16 Williams (15-13)
Judd gets a long red down but can't force position on a colour. Since he established a seven-frame lead he's been walloped 11-3, and it really isn't running for him at the moment. As if too emphasise that point, Mark then risks everything on a three-ball plant; it misses, reds go all over, and he's fluked one into the bottom right! Is that the match? No, hold those horses - Mark's missed a short range jab at the black and left it on the jaws of the bottom right! Judd steps in, and he's got a load on here. If he can hold his nerve - and under this pressure, that's some ask - he can force a decider.
Trump 15-16 Williams (5-12)
Today Mark has equalled the number of centuries in a Crucible campaign, and is on the brink of the biggest semi-final comeback in the Crucible era of the World Championship. What an extraordinary turnaround, Judd's head must be spinning. He'll need to lock in quickly here, or he's going out of the tournament. For the fourth time today he goes big for a red to the bottom right, and misses by an enormous distance. Mark is in, and in aggressive mood; he opens the pack immediately off the blue, but it only leaves a tough red from mid-range to the green pocket. He drains it - of course he does - and it's a chance. Here's a break for Trump though, as Mark goes in-off after a wild miss on the blue.
Trump 15-16 Williams
Mark lands a superb snooker, white in behind the black with the blue in baulk, Judd escapes, but leaves the blue to either left middle or bottom left. Mark drops it calmly in the left middle, followed by the pink, and for the first time in the match he's in front!
Trump 15-15 Williams (49-51)
Judd tags in a brilliant long yellow, but doesn't risk another on the green. His safety thereafter is poor, allowing Mark to hose the green into the bottom right; a superb, deadweight brown then disappears into the bottom left, but he's left a tough blue long to the green pocket and it rattles out and drifts safe. I've seen some tense exchanges at the Crucible down the years, and this is right up there.
Trump 15-15 Williams (47-44)
My stars, this is tense. Both players start trading brutal snookers, which look to have stitched up the other, only for miraculous feats of escapology to ensue the final red is safe or out of view. Mark then appears to survive a double kiss, only to look on as Judd snicks in a wafer thin cut on it to the green pocket and he's on the black! What a shot. Have a look at this though - after potting the black Judd sends the white up for the yellow, and lands touching. It's all on the colours!
Trump 15-15 Williams (39-44)
Is Judd sulking about that kick? Is he heck. He cross doubles a red into the bottom right, and then takes out the black over the bottom left. A superb shot on the green later in the break sees the white come off two cushions to split two reds beneath the pink, and he's got a shot at this if he can move the final red away from the right rail. Judd tries to bring it out after potting the black...but the white doesn't connect and he's only left with a safety.
Trump 15-15 Williams (12-44)
A whole load of tap and nudge safety around the reds near the pink spot follows, before a miscalculation by Mark leaves a cut on a red to the yellow pocket. Judd sweeps it in, followed by the pink, and it's a huge chance. On his next red though, disaster; he gets a huge kick on a red to the yellow pocket, throwing the pot offline and jawing it back into play. That's brutal, particularly at this juncture; Mark pots the red but can't land on the black, so opts to put the blue safe.
Trump 15-15 Williams (5-43)
Mark's got a blink on after being temporarily startled by a bright light somewhere in the Crucible, but seems to have shaken it off now. After an easy starter he deposits two tough shots with the rest on green and then a red, but it's a losing battle with position and he makes just ten before playing safe. He's on top here, and he knows it. In the safety exchange that follows, the black goes into the jaws of the bottom left and that's upped the ante in this frame, like it needed it.
Trump 15-15 Williams (5-33)
This guy, honestly! Judd plays a safety that leaves the white almost toughing the top cushion. Mark can only see one red full ball, down the left of the table. He rolls it in - deadweight, folks - and he lands perfectly on the black! This is jaw-dropping, he's playing like there's ten minutes to go before lights out at the club. His touch deserts him on 33 though as he misses a tough cut on the black to the bottom left. Judd has the big shot gumption too, and cuts in a gutsy red to the bottom right and he's on the brown, with a chance to fire right back. He soon hands the initiative back to Mark though, as he misses a difficult red into the bottom right from mid-range.
Trump 15-15 Williams
The frame is in the bank, and Mark lifts the roof off again when he secures a century off the black. He's not done either; Mark then empties the table for a brilliant 138 to level this up again. My days!
Trump 15-14 Williams (0-53)
What a great shot this is. Mark drives in the black, topspins on and off the bottom cushion and splits the reds perfectly to leave the frame at his mercy. Hold on to your trilby, we're going to a best of three.
Trump 15-14 Williams (0-33)
For the third time today, Judd takes on and misses a long red to the bottom right after Mark's break. He's left it, and Mark has an immediate chance. It's all reds and blacks so far, some of which require some very delicate cueing when hampered. Unflustered of Cwm is not remotely bothered though, and keeps rolling them in. An excellent recovery pot on a red to right middle lands him nicely on the green, and he's looking good here.
Trump 15-14 Williams
Mark gets a look at the red to the yellow pocket, glides it in followed by the black and he'll go for the four-pointer he needs off these colours. He can't quite land one, and when he tries to pot the yellow he leaves it on to its own pocket. That'll do us; Judd clears up to the pink and takes a crucial frame to stop Mark's charge.
Trump 14-14 Williams (63-27)
Mark careers into the black when playing safe, and leaves a cut on a red to the bottom left. Judd wriggles it in, and he's got a chance to seal the frame here. Red and blue go and he splits two tied up reds apart as he pots another with the rest, leaving a long green to its own pocket to keep going. Judd drills that in, and only needs red-colour now. He drops in the red, then the blue, and with only one red remaining Mark needs a snooker as he returns to the table.
Trump 14-14 Williams (48-27)
A good safety from Mark draws eight in misses from Judd, and a warning from referee Desislava Bozhilova that he'll lose the frame if he does so again as he can see a red on the right rail. Judd plays on it but leaves a cut to the right middle; it's wafer thin, but somehow Mark overcuts it and he's left it right on the lip! It's a huge chance for Judd, but it goes the way of the pear almost immediately when he goes into the remaining cluster off the blue and lands welded to a red with no pot on. Back to baulk he goes, and there are still four reds out there.
Trump 14-14 Williams (36-19)
The pack split is not compliant, as Judd is forced into it off a thin red to bottom right and he doesn't land on a colour. Safety follows, before Judd gambles the lot on a red to left middle. He misses it high on the knuckle, and he's left Mark in. As is his wont, he tidies up the lose reds but fails to connect with the pack when trying to split them off one cushion off the yellow. Back to baulk he goes, and my word you can sense the tension crackling in that theatre.
Trump 14-14 Williams (27-0)
A poor safety from Judd leaves a long-ish red to bottom left for Mark. It's virtually straight but Mark can't convert it, and the missed red sends the yellow in-off. Judd's in to boot, and this might be the momentum shift he badly needs. It's 23 and counting in this break so far, and a compliant split of the reds could make this a frame-winning chance.
Trump 14-14 Williams
Right then, let's sort this out. I'd love to know how much of a blip Mark's heart rate is; no player in the game is so seemingly unruffled under intense pressure. When you're 12-5 in the hole to a relentless front-runner like Judd, it's a handy attribute. Don't let the hangdog expression and slacker's gait fool you though; under all that there's a ruthless, fearless competitor, who turned around a 13-7 deficit to win his first world title against Matthew Stevens 22 years ago..
And what of Judd, who's been a virtual bystander in the last session and a half? He's got the moxie to go for the big shot in the biggest moments too, and we know enough of him to know that if he taps into his best or close to then three frames can disappear in a heartbeat. What is past is prologue; he's got to bury that now, and play it like the short-haul, early rounds of a ranking event format that he's mastered in recent years.
They're about to come back out, and are chatting and laughing backstage before they do so. Here they come, and it's game faces back on...
Trump 14-14 Williams
The roof is duly raised as Mark sorts the ton, and then ferociously doubles the final red into the right middle. Imagine being in the Crucible right now! Mark empties the table for a magnificent total clearance of 137 and, unbelievably, we're all square! Mark Williams was 12-5 behind in this semi-final, and he's now turned it into a best of five for a place in the final tomorrow.
There's an interval now, while we all take this in. Can Mark keep it going? Can Judd get himself going? This game, there's just nothing like it.
Trump 14-13 Williams (0-76)
There goes frame ball red, followed by the blue. Mark's going to level this up! Another red, cued in superbly to the bottom left with the rest, keeps him going and boy is he having fun out there now. Judd really needs this interval that's coming up, because he's in all kinds of bother here.
Trump 14-13 Williams (0-62)
He really is fearless. Mark slices in a thin red to the left middle, booms into the pack off the black and then picks off a mid-range red to hold for the pink. This is incredible stuff. The half-century is soon in the books, and a delicate cut on the black leaves him on red to left middle.
Trump 14-13 Williams (0-30)
Judd might still have the lead, but he's palpably under it now. He misses another long red to the bottom right by a huge margin, and it traverses the table before sitting up over the bottom left for Mark. He's hampered by having to cue over the green, but drops it in deadweight and he's on the black. What a player this man is! Points are soon racking up on the abacus and it Mark can level here he'll have not only parity but, crucially, momentum.
Trump 14-13 Williams
Mark is now one frame behind! He eventually drops the final red into the green pocket followed by the blue, and the jeopardy in this semi-final goes north once more. What a match this is!
Trump 14-12 Williams (30-67)
There's more drama here than your average Sunday night on ITV. Judd picks off the red, drills a stunning pink into the left middle and leaves a tough cut back on a red to the bottom left. It's close, but he leaves it in the jaws. Mark pots that, makes sure of the black and now Judd requires a snooker. He's soon back at the table and picks off red-pink, before going for the four-pointer he needs off the last red.
Trump 14-12 Williams (16-59)
Mark edges to the winning line, but it's getting harder as the four remaining reds are all awkward. He drops in behind one to the bottom right, which he takes on with the rest bit it rattles out of the jaws and stays over the pocket. Judd returns to the table, and even though a dish looks impossible he can prolong the row in this frame.
Trump 14-12 Williams (16-36)
There are some awkward clusters of reds around, which will need a nudge to sort this in one visit. Mark does what he does, and picks off the loose reds first before splitting three to the left of the pink. They break open perfectly, and this break will keep trucking.
Trump 14-12 Williams (16-0)
Every poor shot feels loaded with meaning now. Mark catches a safety too thick at the start of frame 27, and grimaces as he leaves Judd an easy starter to left middle. It's a chance, and becomes a big one when Judd explodes the pack open off the blue and there are reds all over. They're not practice table perfect though, and after going in and out of baulk Judd is only left with a tough cut on a red to bottom left, and he misses it. That leaves Mark in the balls, and with the chance to counter.
Trump 14-12 Williams
Mark lands Judd in a snooker, who then duly concedes the frame. The swings in fortune in that frame were like a heads up game of Texas Hold 'Em poker. And the best news? We're nowhere near done yet!
Trump 14-11 Williams (49-63)
Another twist! Judd's safety is poor, he gets a double kiss on the yellow and leaves it on long to the bottom right. There follows two incredible shots from Mark - the yellow goes in, he screws back behind the green, and then launches the green into the same pocket to hold for the brown! Mark pots that and then the blue, but doesn't convert the pink. And what's this? Needing one snooker to win now, Judd finds one to the millimetre by putting the pink behind the black! Mark escapes though, and this is just awesome snooker we're witnessing today.
Trump 14-11 Williams (49-49)
Judd chips away at Mark's lead to reach 36. He then stuns the blue into the right middle and nudges the final red away from the pink. It's on as a cut to right middle, a thin one at that. Judd glides it in and holds for the black, but the adjacent pink makes getting to the yellow difficult. Rather than play a snooker he goes for it, powering the black in and driving through the pink, but in doing so he sends the pink across his potting line to the yellow and it's end of break. What a reprieve for Mark! We're all-square in the frame, and it's down to the colours.
Trump 14-11 Williams (0-49)
It's hard to imagine playing under anything like the pressure Mark's under now. He lands wrong side of the blue early in the break, but recovers it brilliantly by drilling the brown and going around the angles to land on his next red. What a shot, given the context of the match! He soon busts the pack open too and they've split nicely, but on the cusp of a half-century he mistimes a drag shot on a mid-range red and he's missed it! Oh my, what a moment; punishment in full here from Judd would be a crucial steal.
Trump 14-11 Williams (0-18)
Mark breaks, and leaves a long red to the bottom right. Judd goes for it but cues right across the shot, and misses it by a postcode. That leaves Mark a starter to the bottom left, and he's in again.
Trump 14-11 Williams
That's 25% of Trump's job done today, as a 74 extends his lead to three frames.
Trump 13-11 Williams (56-42)
Judd hits the front quickly, although loses position slightly after potting the second to last red. That leaves a cut on pink to right middle, which he drops in but when it respots it's slightly across the line of the final red to the same pocket. Judd rolls it deadweight, and it basketballs in off both knuckles and the lip of the pocket. That draws an 'ooh!' from the crowd, but it's in and the frame should be a formality from here.
Trump 13-11 Williams (12-42)
Mark goes into the pack, but is only left with a thin red to the right middle to keep going. He takes it on, but it doesn't go close; even worse, he's served up a red to the left middle for Judd.
Trump 13-11 Williams (12-27)
Judd flies out of the traps, tagging a red into the left middle after a containing safety by Mark and then firing in a difficult green thereafter to keep the break going. On 12 though he misses a red across the table to the right middle, and Mark is in. It's a decent chance, and he sets about taking it until a ferocious kick when potting the black jiggers position and leaves a tough long red to the yellow pocket. It's a huge shot already, but Mark rattles it in and he's on the black.
Rob Walker, that well known talker, brings the players in to a buzzing Crucible. What a Saturday afternoon treat this is, let's get it popping.
Earlier today we saw Ronnie start to pull away from John in their semi-final. Last night Mark hauled Judd back in, with a fantastic performance to reduce a seven-frame deficit at one point to just two. Judd has the lead at 13-11; he needs four, Mark needs six. It's been some effort from Mark to make a fight of this, and that's what we've got coming up.
And the fun don't stop. After a superb brunch from Ronnie and John, here's your hot dinner - Judd Trump and Mark Williams to a finish for a place in the final.
Higgins 9-15 O'Sullivan
Well, what a few hours of snooker. O'Sullivan at his brilliant best. We will be back at 2:30pm to see Judd Trump and Mark Williams play to a finish. Trump with a 13-11 lead in that match.
Higgins 9-14 O'Sullivan (0-134)
A magnificent run of 134 from O'Sullivan. That is snooker on a different level. He needs two more frames for victory after his fifth century of this match. He leads by six frames and needs two more frames for a spot in the final. The snooker GOAT on brink of eighth Crucible final.
Higgins 9-14 O'Sullivan (0-49)
O'Sullivan really fired up to make sure this is a one-visit finish to this session. Another cannon on the reds via black is exceptional. Glorious chance to win the session 5-3 for a 15-9 lead before they resume at 7pm BST this evening.
Higgins 9-14 O'Sullivan (0-22)
What a stunning opening red from O'Sullivan. Looks right in the mood out there now. Chance to move 15-9 ahead before tonight's closing session.
Higgins 9-14 O'Sullivan (0-0)
Last frame of the session. Higgins looking a tad frustrated out there. A 54 from O'Sullivan in the 23rd frame.
Higgins 9-13 O'Sullivan (26-105)
Higgins getting a huge spot of good fortune to leave white in front of yellow. O'Sullivan fails to hit it twice, but gets there the third time after being warned by the referee he would lose frame. Higgins with no counter clearance though as he quickly breaks down before O'Sullivan holes a long red. All very tense out there, but O'Sullivan cuts back a fearless red seconds later and has chance to get over the line. And he is going to lead 14-9. Brilliant from O'Sullivan. Sublime from the snooker GOAT.
Higgins 9-13 O'Sullivan (0-50)
O'Sullivan out of position on 42. Holding a lead of 50 points as he runs safe to baulk. Fine safety shot from Higgins in response before O'Sullivan does likewise.
Higgins 9-13 O'Sullivan (0-23)
Higgins feeling the strain as another long red fails to drop with object ball over pocket. Golden chance for O'Sullivan to push on at this visit and move five frames ahead. Wouldn't bet against it if he can hold himself together with the form he is in.
Higgins 9-13 O'Sullivan (0-8)
O'Sullivan has missed a long red by a fair distance and thumps his cue into the ground. Gasps from the crowd. O'Sullivan then breaks down on eight as a split on red goes wrong.
Higgins 9-12 O'Sullivan (16-121)
O'Sullivan making the 100th century of this year's World Championship. Exceptional from O'Sullivan. He moves four frames clear again at 13-9 with two more frames of the session remaining.
Higgins 9-12 O'Sullivan (16-72)
Looks for all the world like O'Sullivan is going to come up with another big break at this visit and lead 13-9...looks to be in pristine scoring form...
Higgins 9-12 O'Sullivan (16-8)
Higgins picks out a fine red to a centre pocket and is away again at the outset of this 22nd frame, but he misses a tough red to a centre pocket bridging over another red. Chance for O'Sullivan to launch the counter.
Higgins 9-12 O'Sullivan (0-0)
O'Sullivan with the safety shot from the Higgins break-off this time. The Scotsman made a century off his opponent's break in the previous frame.
Higgins 8-12 O'Sullivan (103-0)
Highest break of the match so far from Higgins. Should be a century coming up here. And is a ton up at the Crucible. Great long red and has mopped up these balls supremely well. Back to 12-9 behind with three more frames of the session to come.
Higgins 8-12 O'Sullivan (24-0)
Cracking long red from Higgins to get moving first in this 21st frame. Should make a few at this visit.
Higgins 8-12 O'Sullivan (0-0)
A break of 15 minutes for the mid-session interval..
Higgins 8-11 O'Sullivan (0-101)
A break of 101 from the world No. 1 and he leads 12-8 at the mid-session interval. Now chasing five more frames from a possible 13 remaining.
Higgins 8-11 O'Sullivan (0-70)
Every chance of a century for O'Sullivan to move four frames clear again in the chase for 17 and the winning line.
Higgins 8-11 O'Sullivan (0-48)
Superb shot on blue. In and out of baulk and back on the reds. Inching towards the winning post in this frame. Needs a cannon on the black to hold for the reds, but looking very composed.
Higgins 8-11 O'Sullivan (0-36)
Opens a few more reds after potting a black. Lovely shot that one. Chance to progress to win frame here and now. Striking the ball superbly well.
Higgins 8-11 O'Sullivan (0-17)
Early chance for O'Sullivan to make a few after clattering a long red into the green bag. What a pot that was. Making sure he is not rushed out there. Big visit coming up.
Higgins 8-11 O'Sullivan (0-0)
Higgins breaks off in this 20th frame of the day.
Higgins 7-11 O'Sullivan (84-37)
Into the lead then in this frame with two reds left up. Tries to develop the final red of black, but just out of luck. Plays a fine safety shot and O'Sullivan has left the red over the middle pocket in escaping from the snooker. A fine response from Higgins to recover in this frame with a run of 51. And he is going to claw one back again to trail 11-8. A tough old frame from the Scotsman. One more frame before the mid-session interval.
Higgins 7-11 O'Sullivan (33-37)
Fine long red by Higgins and he has a chance to recover ground in this frame.
Higgins 7-11 O'Sullivan (5-37)
All goes wrong for O'Sullivan on 37 as the attempted split on reds leaves him on nothing. Looks furious with that shot. Just the safety to follow.
Higgins 7-11 O'Sullivan (5-16)
Superb cut to a middle pocket on a red by the Rocket and he should be off and running here. Chance to piece together some points at the business end of the table.
Higgins 7-11 O'Sullivan (5-0)
Two lengthy frames this morning, but it is as you were. Two more frames before the mid-session interval.
Higgins 7-10 O'Sullivan (32-104)
A majestic run of 82 from O'Sullivan and he restores the four-frame advantage. The break of the tournament so far with all the reds tied up. Just remarkable stuff
Higgins 7-10 O'Sullivan (32-83)
Not easy to win frame at this visit, but he is getting closer. Some stunning shots to keep this break ticking along. Break moves to 47. O'Sullivan needing one red to leave Higgins needing a snooker. Brilliant pot on the penultimate red and that is going to be the frame to O'Sullivan. He will lead 11-7. A quite magical break this.
Higgins 7-10 O'Sullivan (32-46)
O'Sullivan breaks the deadlock after a protracted period of safety with a fine long red. Stunning pot in the circumstances. What can he make here?
Higgins 7-10 O'Sullivan (32-22)
Some stunning safety shots being wheeled out here by both men. All very taut and tight out there in this 18th frame over 20 minutes in. No colours on their spots at moment.
Higgins 7-10 O'Sullivan (32-22)
O'Sullivan with a fine long red followed by black and a double on the red. Superb from the Rocket, but he has not landed on a red from the blue. Just the safety to follow.
Higgins 7-10 O'Sullivan (32-0)
Just the 32 from Higgins as his attempt to split the pack again from the black fails to pay off. Bit unfortunate.
Higgins 7-10 O'Sullivan (25-0)
First chance of the 18th frame falls to Higgins. Nice long red to the yellow pocket. Bit of early running is going the way of the Wishaw man, but he will take it. Imperative that he starts to score heavily in this semi-final with a break of 58 his highest of the match so far.
Higgins 6-10 O'Sullivan (66-30)
O'Sullivan has seen enough of this frame as Higgins rolls in a blue down the side rail. Back to 10-7 behind. Seven more frames of this session.
Higgins 6-10 O'Sullivan (61-26)
This frame has been going for 35 minutes or so. O'Sullivan just playing for table time.
Higgins 6-10 O'Sullivan (61-13)
O'Sullivan continues to compete with one red left up. Just using these balls to get his cue arm working. Frame has gone with four snookers needed.
Higgins 6-10 O'Sullivan (57-13)
O'Sullivan chasing two snookers in this first frame. Looks a long way back from here. Higgins just misses a double on a red. Bit of a scrappy first frame, but the Scot is surely going to take it.
Higgins 6-10 O'Sullivan (44-1)
Higgins gets the better of the safety joust. Pots a long red, on the brown and chance suddenly to progress to claim the first frame of the day.
Higgins 6-10 O'Sullivan (30-1)
Real safety blunder by Higgins, but astonishingly does not leave a pot for O'Sullivan, who is playing some fine tactical stuff of his own.
Higgins 6-10 O'Sullivan (30-1)
Break of 30 from Higgins. Fails to get any joy from splitting the pack of reds off the black. Just the trundle back to baulk for the four-time world champion. A bit more safety on the cards before O'Sullivan rams a red into a centre bag and roll up behind green.
Higgins 6-10 O'Sullivan (14-0)
So we are off and rolling in this match. Early chance of a mid-range red for O'Sullivan, but just fails to drop and chance passes to Higgins. Slots a nice red and off we go then with the Scotsman in first.
HIGGINS V O'SULLIVAN: A CRUCIBLE ODYSSEY
This is their sixth meeting at the World Championship over the past 26 years. If O'Sullivan can win another seven out of a possible 17 frames today, he will level up the historic score at 3-3. It might well be their final clash at the Crucible, but who knows with these two remarkable players? Predictions can be a dangerous business.
- 2011 World Championship quarter-final: John Higgins 13-10 Ronnie O'Sullivan
- 2007 World Championship quarter-final: John Higgins 13-9 Ronnie O'Sullivan
- 2001 World Championship final: Ronnie O'Sullivan 18-14 John Higgins
- 1998 World Championship semi-final: John Higgins 17-9 Ronnie O'Sullivan
- 1996 World Championship quarter-final: Ronnie O'Sullivan 13-12 John Higgins
Bit of Saturday morning reading
Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins are two of the most unique sporting icons in any field across world sport having first jousted as teenagers back in 1994.
"Age has failed to diminish the youthful, attacking edge to their approach. Longevity has brought wealth, wisdom and the desire for dedication. They play the same shots now that they were playing in 1996. Only arguably better.
"When O'Sullivan and Higgins perform, they remain a class apart. These are unique sportsmen, whose ongoing success is measured in decades rather than years."
Read our exclusive blog here: 'Terribly exciting' – O'Sullivan, Higgins and a golden sporting rivalry that has defied time
Good morning – here we go!
What a day we have in store for us at the Crucible!
We have already been treated to two sensational semi-finals, and both classics continue at the World Championship today in Sheffield.
Ronnie O'Sullivan will be resuming against his old foe John Higgins, and Judd Trump will be facing Mark Williams. Who are you predicting will reach the final?
O'Sullivan, the world No. 1, is eyeing victory over Higgins with a 10-6 overnight lead in their clash, while Williams will be looking to continue his momentum after pegging Trump back to 13-11 having looked out of it trailing 7-1 on Thursday and 12-5 last night.
Here is some reading to get you in the mood
- 'Most dramatic frame of World Championship' - O'Sullivan with 'extraordinary' clear-up
- 'Is that alright?!' - O'Sullivan complains to referee, pleads with fans over distraction
- 'It's legal' - Unusual O'Sullivan jump shot clears balls in surprise moment
Following an unfortunate miss from Higgins at the end of their session on Friday, the Rocket compiled a quite outrageous and masterful break of 43, with the penultimate red and following black immediately hailed by Eurosport's experts, both in the commentary booth and the studio.
"Surely the most dramatic frame of the World Championship so far," declared Dave Hendon on commentary at the time. "Extraordinary!"
"What drama - goodness me!" responded Neal Foulds. "How on earth has he cleared those from the positioning of the two reds?"
'Most dramatic frame of World Championship' - O'Sullivan with 'extraordinary' clear-up
In the studio, Jimmy White and Alan McManus were left absolutely stunned by the genius of their friend on the very biggest stage the sport has to offer.
"Unbelievable. The red and black are the two best shots I have ever seen in a [semi] final of the World Championship back-to-back," McManus said.
"He has got no business even attempting this. Unbelievable, and he has still got so much to do."
White added: "Genius at work! He sees some shots that no other players see, and he can pull them off as well.
"Two of the shots O'Sullivan played there will be replayed for years. Fantastic."
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