Alexandra Palace, London - 15-22 January
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BGC Masters 2012 - Day 5 Quarter-Finals
Ronnie O'Sullivan 2-6 Judd Trump
63-34, 100-0 (66), 78-49 (78), 140-0 (140), 1-83 (67), 58-30, 0-141 (141), 65-54 (54, 65)
See some photos from the afternoon here.
Judd Trump kept his bid alive to win all three major tournaments this season with an emphatic 6-2 win over local favourite and four-times former Masters champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.
Trump had most of the table time at the start of the afternoon as it only took 42 minutes for him to win the first four frames. A break of 66 put him 2-0 up and he came from 49-0 behind to win the third frame with a 78 clearance. In the fourth frame Judd set the new highest break of the tournament, a fantastic 140 going in to the interval.
When they resumed, O'Sullivan finally got his first frame on the board with a run of 67. The next frame was the scrappiest of the match and went down to the colours. O'Sullivan played a poor shot on the green and sticked it up for Trump who slotted it in for a commanding 5-1 lead in this best of 11 encounter.
O'Sullivan had some condolence at the end as he managed to beat Trump's high break with a 141 clearance of his own to set a good benchmark for the £15,000 prize. But in the end it was too little, too late for O'Sullivan as his 54 break wasn't enough as Trump hit back with a brilliant 65 clearance to win the high-octane encounter 6-2.
It is easy to see now that Trump is fully setttled in to the top 16 and now thrives at the big venues, a complete contrast to the player we saw this time two years ago. His fast, attacking style of snooker is drawing in new fans to the sport and at 22 he will be around for a long time still. He will face either Mark Williams or Neil Robertson who play tomorrow in the semi-finals.
Apart from the black he missed off the spot in the first frame, O'Sullivan can't be too disappointed with how he played today. He might not be playing in all the new events that are coming up in China in the next couple of years. If this is true his ranking can't help but slip unless he can put in better performances at the UK events.
"I didn't really expect to be 4-0 up at the interval, but I knew he still seemed interested and I knew it was going to be tough," said Trump. "When he came back out after the break he didn't really look like missing, he was creating a lot of opportunities for himself. But I didn't really miss a lot today, and when he did miss I made some good clearances.
"I played pretty well, better than I played in the first round. My potting was good and that's what got me over the line.
"Ronnie has done everything he wanted to do in the game. He's enjoyed himself on and off the table, he has entertained the crowd for 20 years now and everyone still loves him. For however long he plays the game he will be the fans favourite.
O'Sullivan said: "Judd played a fantastic match, he scored heavily, potted some fantastic balls under pressure and made some good clearances. He performed better than me on the day and deserves his victory.
"When someone is playing as well as he is and is full of confidence, it's very difficult to stop. I couldn't give any more out there. I gave it 100% and that's all you can do really."
Graeme Dott 3-6 John Higgins
61-62 (Higgins 60), 57-47, 65-36 (52), 14-67, 109-5 (75), 71-5 (64), 109-18 (109), 47-73, 89-0 (89)
The current Betfred.com World Snooker champion John Higgins had a scare in the earlier parts of his match with the former world champion Graeme Dott, but hit back hard after the mid-session interval to win the all-Scottish clash 6-3.
Dott started off well, winning the first frame with the help of a 46 clearance after Higgins broke down on 60. Dott had a chance to clinch the second frame but he ran out of position on 47 and Higgins hit back strong to clear for 1-1. The next two frames were shared to make it 2-2 going in to the interval.
Whatever he did at the interval it seemed to work for Higgins as breaks of 75, 64 and 109 helped him take a 5-2 lead. Dott managed to pull another frame on the board during a scrappy eight frame but in the ninth it was all Higgins as he sealed the match with a break of 89.
Even though it seemed a one-sided match on paper, both Dott and Higgins had incredible stats including both having a long pot success rate of over 80%, but it was Dott's inability to retain position and produce frame winning breaks that ultimately cost him the match. Higgins will play the winner of the quarter-final between Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy.
"It was a bit like my first match," said Higgins. "Luckily for me Graeme didn't really turn up tonight. He started well but I won the third frame to make it 2-1 so that was probably a turning point.
"I played ok, perhaps I was still a little bit nervous, but then I felt great in the last frame to make that frame winning break. I'm just pleased to get through.
"The crowds have been great this week, they really understand the game. The venue is more intimate, it's a little more gladiatorial, that's what I like."
A dejected Dott said: "I was pathetic, rubbish again. I just never seem to play well in this tournament. I have no idea what is it. I felt as if I was going to pot the balls but my cue ball control was just amateurish. It doesn't matter how easy the positions I'm getting myself in, before I know I'm in and out of baulk and I'm having to pot something tricky." Player quotes courtesy of World Snooker