Ronnie O’Sullivan defeated Jack Lisowski 5-2 to reach the last four of the Dafabet English Open in Barnsley.
The win sees the Rocket reach a remarkable 65th ranking semi-final, where he will face world number 14 Anthony McGill. The Scot has never lost a last four tie, but will have his work cut out maintaining that record when he faces O’Sullivan, who hasn’t lost a semi-final for five years.
Lisowski will reflect on a tremendous run which included memorable wins over two-time World Champion Mark Williams and 2011 UK Champion Judd Trump.
The 26-year-old made an immediate impact with a tremendous break of 128. He had the first chances in the next three frames, but didn’t seize the opportunity to build a lead. The five-time World Champion claimed three on the bounce, making breaks of 64 and 125, as he charged to a 3-1 advantage at the interval.
When they came out for the second session it was a deficit which Lisowski couldn’t overturn, as O’Sullivan ran out a 5-2 victor. The 28-time ranking winner remains on course to level John Higgins’ tally which is at 29 after the Scot won the Indian Open earlier this campaign.
O’Sullivan said: “I haven’t been winning as much these past two years, and so I am excited getting to this stage of the tournament. I want to win it now.
“I am over the moon to be into the semi-finals. Jack is a talented player, and plays like he is practising and scores quickly. He is a lovely guy, I want him to do well.”
Alexander Ursenbacher continued his phenomenal run, with a 5-0 demolition of Paul Hunter Classic winner Michael White.
The Swiss potter, who regained his place on tour by winning the European Under-21 title in March, hadn’t made it beyond the last 32 stage of an event coming into this week. However, wins over Stuart Carrington and 2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy yesterday secured his place in today’s last eight tie.
This evening the world number 91 simply cast his opponent aside in a rapid one hour and ten minutes. He trailed 41-4 in the first frame, but hit back with a run of 55 to take the opener and lead 1-0. Further breaks of 84, 51 and 93 saw him establish a 4-0 advantage at the interval and when they returned he won the fifth to seal the biggest win of his career.
Ursenbacher said: “I was so nervous when I walked in at the beginning of the match. I had a good start and I was surprised at that because of the nerves. I got the first two frames on the board and I felt alright. I just thought I had to keep concentrated and focused and thought it could go my way.
“I hope people will notice this. Not only am I the only Swiss professional, but now I have made the run to a semi-final in a world ranking event. If that doesn’t open some eyes I don’t know what will. I hope that it will convince people to want to play snooker in Switzerland.”