Ronnie O’Sullivan continued to blaze a path through the draw at the Betway UK Championship as he beat Mark Williams 6-2 to reach the semi-finals.
O’Sullivan has lost just five frames in his five matches so far as he targets what would be a sixth UK title, equalling the record held by Steve Davis. The world number eight from Chigwell is seeking to win his first silverware since lifting the Welsh Open trophy in February.
In the semis in York on Saturday evening he will face Marco Fu, who came from 5-2 down to beat Jamie Jones 6-5.
O’Sullivan took the opening frame tonight and might have added the second but missed a long pot on the last red, allowing Welshman Williams to clear with 33 to snatch it. O’Sullivan dominated frame three to regain the lead then Williams made a break of 78 for 2-2.
After the interval, O’Sullivan stepped up a great as runs of 64, 60 and 78 made it 5-2. In the next frame, on the brink of victory, he missed the last red to a baulk corner, but was lucky to snooker his opponent and from the chance that followed he wrapped up the match.
“Mark didn’t play his best,” said O’Sullivan. “He will have been happy to win a few matches here and make sure of his place in the Masters. I was happy with the professionalism and attitude I showed tonight to get the job done. I had to keep powering on and I felt that I would have too much for him. I will need to get stronger. I’m a fighter and I will keep fighting until it happens.”
Fu is through to the last four of this tournament for the second time in his career – the first coming in 2008 when he lost to Shaun Murphy in the final. The Hong Kong cueman had not been beyond the last 32 of a ranking event this season before this event, but has battled his way through five matches in York.
Welshman Jones looked set to reach the second ranking semi-final of his career when he built a 5-2 lead with top breaks of 58, 70, 54 and 69. His best chance to win came at 5-3 but he ran out of position on a break of 33. Fu hit back to take that one, then made a 75 in the next for 5-5 and dominated the decider, winning it 76-0.
“It’s the first time in my career that I have got to the semi-finals of a big tournament playing my B or C game,” said two-time ranking event winner Fu. “I’m very surprised to still be here, the way I am playing. I need to improve dramatically.
“My experience played a part tonight. Jamie was suffering when he saw the winning line and made some mistakes. I saw that weakness and took advantage.
“It’s always special playing Ronnie so to meet him in the semis of the UK will be a great occasion for me. I just hope I can produce my best.”