Welsh Open snooker: John Higgins beats Ronnie O'Sullivan

John Higgins
John Higgins

John Higgins knocked favourite Ronnie O'Sullivan out of the Welsh Open and thinks all of the semi-finalists will fancy their chances of success.

Four-time champion O'Sullivan stole the opening frame, only for Higgins to storm back with breaks of 113, 57, 60 and 101 to race into the semi-finals.

Higgins, who also boasts for Welsh Open titles, steps into the last four to face Gary Wilson, who saw off Yu Delu 5-2.

"I am delighted to win; it was a weird game," Higgins told Eurosport.

"I just felt Ronnie was not there at all.

"He missed a couple of balls and ran out of position; he never does that. It must have been a concentration thing.

"Me winning that match means everyone in the tournament feels they have a chance of winning the title.

"If O'Sullivan was in, people would say it is his to lose."

Earlier in the day Barry Hawkins saw off China's Yan Bingtao 5-1.

"I was pleased with the result and even more with the performance," Hawkins told worldsnooker.com.

"I made a good clearance to win the fourth frame and that was the big moment. I didn’t give Yan many chances.

"I am getting matches under my belt and playing more consistently now. Confidence is all it is. I have to stay focused now and keep playing like that.

"I have watched Noppon a few times, he has put in some great performances and beaten some good players. He is dangerous."

Hawkins' win booked a semi-final clash with Thailand's Noppon Saengkham, who defeated Ian Burns 5-3.

FRIDAY MARCH 2
Afternoon session
Quarter-Finals (Best of 9 frames)

  • Ian Burns 3-5 Noppon Saengkham (QF 2)
  • Yan Bingtao 1-5 Barry Hawkins (QF 1)

Evening session
Quarter-Finals (Best of 9 frames)

  • Ronnie O'Sullivan 1-5 John Higgins (QF 3)
  • Gary Wilson 5-2 Yu De Lu (QF 4)

SATURDAY MARCH 3
Afternoon session (1300 GMT)
First round (Best of 7 frames)
TV Coverage: Eurosport 1/BBC Wales

  • Barry Hawkins v Noppon Saengkham (SF 1)

Evening session (1900 GMT)
First round (Best of 7 frames)
TV Coverage: Eurosport 1/BBC Wales

  • John Higgins v Gary Wilson (SF 2)

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