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O'Sullivan stays on course for another world title

The veteran star has established a 6-2 lead over Barry Hawkins in the first session of their semi-final.

Ronnie O'Sullivan enjoys a cup of tea during his match against Barry Hawkins.
Ronnie O'Sullivan enjoys a cup of tea during his match against Barry Hawkins.

RONNIE O’SULLIVAN MAINTAINED his charge towards a third successive World Championship title as he established a 6-2 lead over Barry Hawkins in the first session of their semi-final on Thursday.

O’Sullivan has been in fine form during his pursuit of a sixth world crown of his career since coming from behind to defeat Joe Perry in the second round at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.

O’Sullivan swept past Shaun Murphy, himself a former world champion, in the quarter-finals with a session to spare and, in a repeat of last year’s final, wasted little time in establishing a four-frame lead in the best of 33 contest.

He took the first of the semi-final with a break of 63 before Hawkins levelled with a contribution of 96 and briefly went ahead with a break of 76.

But it was one-way traffic from then on, Hawkins’s mistakes and O’Sullivan’s skill seeing the champion, who made a break of 108 in the seventh frame before a missed red from his opponent let him take the next, pull ahead.

The second semi-final is an Anglo-Australian clash between Mark Selby and Melbourne-born Neil Robertson, the 2010 world champion, who in his quarter-final win over Judd Trump became the first player to make 100 competitive century breaks in a tour season.

- © AFP, 2014

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