Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker: Ronnie O’Sullivan beats John Higgins
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Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker: Ronnie O’Sullivan beats John Higgins

An imperious Ronnie O’Sullivan thrashed John Higgins to move into the semi-finals of the inaugural Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker.

Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan beats John Higgins
Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker: Ronnie O’Sullivan beats John Higgins

O’Sullivan made three century breaks in the opening three frames before another of 82 in the final frame handed him a 4-0 victory.

Scotland’s Higgins failed to pot a red in the game – his only four points coming from a foul.

O’Sullivan will meet Judd Trump in the semi-finals of the Saudi event.

Trump rallied from 2-0 down to beat Shaun Murphy 4-3 and reach the last four.

Earlier, Mark Allen battled back from 3-1 down to beat Mark Selby 4-3.

Northern Ireland’s Allen will face Luca Brecel in the semi-finals after the world champion beat Ali Carter 4-1.

In the first quarter-final, a break of 84 helped Selby move 2-0 ahead but Allen responded with a run of 73 to reduce the deficit.

Selby opened up another two-frame lead but Allen fought back to level and then clinched the final frame on the black.

Meanwhile, Carter was frustrated in his loss to Brecel after missing a brown when he looked set to level the match at 2-2 – and blamed it on a scoreboard mistake.

“I’m clearing up, I want to get on with it and the scorer’s got the score wrong,” he told Eurosport. “I’ve stunned up the table, thinking I can play anything I want.

“I look at the scoreboard and now all of a sudden I’m thinking, ‘Have I miscalculated?’ and it’s just completely put me out of my rhythm.

“I thought I’ve got to pot the brown to be able to draw. I don’t know how it worked out but I’m looking at the blue and all of a sudden the ref said I’m on 41 and I’m 22 behind or something. It just completely threw me.”

Trump came out on top in a high-quality affair against Murphy, who raced into a 2-0 lead after breaks of 126 and 105.

The 34-year-old fought back to 2-2 before Murphy edged in front again. However, a break of 69 got the former world champion level and he dominated the deciding frame to progress.

The semi-finals and best-of-nine-frame final take place on Wednesday.

The winner will collect £250,000 out of a total prize fund of £800,000.

A golden ball has been brought in for the event, which features the world’s leading players. If a player completes a 147, they have the chance to make a record 167 break.

The golden ball – worth 20 points – sits on the top cushion throughout the frame for as long as a player can still complete the maximum break and is removed when the opportunity is over.

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