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John Higgins - Ronnie O'Sullivan

03:47:13

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World Championship
Top 10 shots of 2021/22: No. 2 – O'Sullivan sinks outrageous red during Crucible epic
18 HOURS AGO

O'Sullivan 4-4 Higgins

Another ton for Ronnie, a 107, and that's our lot for tonight. The form Ronnie's in, it's hard to see John living with him, but John does hard things pretty well.

O'Sullivan 3-4 Higgins (80-0)

If we were playing more frames tonight, I'm certain Ronnie would be in front. John managed to teef one just as Ronnie did before the interval - it's hard to whitewash either, however well you play or however badly they play - but Ronnie's played much the better snooker, and if that carries on tomorrow, this probably won't be close. But that's another day.

O'Sullivan 3-4 Higgins (40-0)

A containing safety from John hands Ronnie a starter to right corner, and though there's work to do, he looks likely to get it done.

O'Sullivan 3-4 Higgins (20-0)

Ronnie cues beautifully in caressing a starter to right corner, but on 20, the table diddles him again, slowing him down so he's on nothing; he plays safe.

O'Sullivan 3-4 Higgins

This game! John stops the rot, and now knows he won't be behind overnight.

O'Sullivan 3-3 Higgins (55-46)

The table has played slow all day and when Ronnie develops that red, it stops him from getting on the blue. Distracted, he doesn't get the snooker he plays behind the black, then his next shot leaves a long, diagonal one that John drains. He's going to steal this!

O'Sullivan 3-3 Higgins (47-40)

Ronnie about the black spot is Mozart. he clears away the reds near it, cue-ball control a delight, and though there's a red near the side cushion, the way he's playing, you feel confident he'll sort it.

O'Sullivan 3-3 Higgins (8-40)

Pressure. John misses a cut-back red to left corner, and all his hard work in opening up the table is Ronnie's to enjoy.

O'Sullivan 3-3 Higgins (0-19)

John Higgins, though, is still John Higgins, and when Ronnie leaves one off the break, he clobbers it into right corner. This is an important contribution for him, to show Ronnie and himself that he can raise his game when pushed. HIs split goes well, and this is a good chance for him now.

O'Sullivan 3-3 Higgins

A glorious 116 from Ronnie, who slides cue onto table and springs out of the arena. He's playing beautifully now - the table is playing heavily, so he's just cracking shots harder.

O'Sullivan 2-3 Higgins (94-10)

John's seen it all before and has a great recent record against Ronnie, but there's a bit more pressure on him now, because the drive is on. Ronnie's not just been making frame-winning contributions, he's doing so by pulling off a succession of difficult clever shots - including a rocketed double as I type that.

O'Sullivan 2-3 Higgins (48-10)

The break gets awkward, so Ronnie sinks one to middle, goes down the table, in and out of baulk via the brown, and he's now in prime position.

O'Sullivan 2-3 Higgins (15-10)

He doesn't even get to, running out position before it's an issue and playing safe leaving one to right middle. Ronnie nudges home, the crowd calling the ball on, he breaks a nice-looking pack, and it goes beautifully. This looks a lot like 3-3.

O'Sullivan 2-3 Higgins (0-4)

Loose from Ronnie, who misses a long red to left corner and leaves one cuttable with the rest to the same pocket. John needed that, but will know what's likely to happen if he opens things up and misses.

O'Sullivan 2-3 Higgins

By far the quickest frame of the night. I wonder if John will play a bit tighter for the next bit, because Ronnie is on one and if he gets the first chance in the next frame, you imagine he'll take it.

O'Sullivan 1-3 Higgins (69-1)

Have a look! Ronnie leans onto the baize and cuts an expert's opener to right corner; John will be wondering here and rightly so, because though he'll still be in front at the end of this frame, he's not in the kind of form he's now seeing from his opponent.

O'Sullivan 1-3 Higgins (45-1)

On 45, Ronnie runs out of position, so plays safe. With four balls either on or close to side cushions, that's a handy lead.

O'Sullivan 1-3 Higgins (17-1)

Off we go again. Ronnie's break to win frame four was by far the best bit of snooker we've seen so far tonight, but what a pot John finds off the break, properly knucked to left corner. On nothing, though, he plays safe and Ronnie rolls up. So John returns to baulk, only to leave one, and Ronnie's in again. If he can get grooved with another decent run, he'll pretty happy with life relative to half an hour ago.

O'Sullivan 1-3 Higgins

On 70, Ronnie brushes the pink, but that won't bother him. His break was typical of him, because the balls weren't easy but he plotted a route through them that made it looks simple. See you in 15.

O'Sullivan 0-3 Higgins (58-1)

Ronnie's taking these nicely; when he needs to find a decent pot to cut a tight one to right corner, he does. He's in the match now.

O'Sullivan 0-3 Higgins (1-1)

I guess it's worth reiterating that all three frames could've gone either way - it's not like John's been dominating. But though he's not scored heavily, he's scored more heavily, and after 11 minutes of safety, he's the one who pots the first ball, tapped to left corner. Most of the reds are gathered in that vicinity, blocking each other, and with pink and black out of commission, John tries the blue to the green pocket; he misses. Can Ronnie capitalise? He really really needs to.

O'Sullivan 0-3 Higgins

It's not yet an emergency, but Ronnie could really use the next frame. So, though, could John, and though he's not playing great either, he's the better of the two so far.

O'Sullivan 0-2 Higgins (32-67)

Oh, Ronnie! He misses a red to left corner, leaves it, looks extremely unhappy with life, and will now have to watch John take a 3-0 lead.

O'Sullivan 0-2 Higgins (9-59)

John accumulates as the balls determined he must. But an accidental cannon means that, after a long think, he's going to take on a plant from an inconvenient angle. That makes it much harder than it would've been, and shonuff he misses to left corner, leaving nothing. On the other hand, Ronnie's eventuating safety leaves a red stuck on the side cushion but near the pocket; John sinks it nicely ... only to miss the black! With nothing safe, the frame is very much in the balance, and doesn't Ronnie O'Sullivan need it.

O'Sullivan 0-2 Higgins (0-12)

A safety exchange, then John finds a really nice plant from cluster to right corner - the two balls weren't that close, so that's really good work to see it, take it on and pull it off. The black goes both pockets too, and there's a sizable break right there for the taking.

O'Sullivan 0-2 Higgins

The only way I think John can win this is from the front, and that's where he is. Two scrappy frames, but two wins for him and if you'd offered him that before the start of play, he'd've took it.

O'Sullivan 0-1 Higgins (46-48)

A little nudge and that minorly tricky red is in the open - this is going to be 2-0.

O'Sullivan 0-1 Higgins (46-27)

This hasn't really got going yet ... but as I type that, John plays up the table to float a lovely red from left side to right corner. That's a lovely shot. He can't capitalise, adding a broon and nothing more, but then Ronnie does everything but sink a long one to right corner - it almost goes down and pops up again - handing John a decent opportunity, four of the five remaining reds in reasonable positions and the other disturbable.

O'Sullivan 0-1 Higgins (46-14)

Eesh. Ronnie misses a tricky red down the side cushion to right corner, but leaves nothing.

O'Sullivan 0-1 Higgins (40-14)

And there we go. Ronnie removes a red close to the black, then pots another to gently cannon the black, and presto! It's available to left corner, then another red and cannon later, fully liberated. He is so good at navigating the best route around a table. It all looks so simple, but it's far from that.

O'Sullivan 0-1 Higgins (19-14)

John leaves one to left corner that Ronnie drains, then he follows it with blue, a tricky red and a blue; the black is tied up, but I'm sure he'll address that in time, and already he's in decent shape.

O'Sullivan 0-1 Higgins (0-14)

It's John in first at the start of frame two, but when he bousts into the cluster off the blue, he goes off the side and nestles within it; that's end of break.

O'Sullivan 0-1 Higgins

Neither player will want to see that frame again, but at the end of it, it's John in front.

O'Sullivan 0-0 Higgins (53-58)

But that's not how it goes down! Ronnie misses a similar pot, and the best clearer-upper in the game will surely sort it this time.

O'Sullivan 0-0 Higgins (17-37)

Ronnie runs out of position and spends a good amount of time assessing his options before playing a containing safety that leaves a nasty chance parallel with the top cushion for John, who jawses it. That will, I think, cost him the frame, and given the various misses, he deserves that.

O'Sullivan 0-0 Higgins (17-37)

Anything you can do! Ronnie picks a plant from centre to left corner, but cannons the black, taking it out of commission, and can't get through to the pink. So it's off the brown and back to baulk, but after a brief exchange, Ronnie catches the inside jaw of right corner too thickly, keeping the white up the table, and presents John with another opportunity. His safety play has been superb over the last week, so that error is a surprise, but he's back at the tale now because John overcuts a delicate one on the top cushion to right corner; this frame is now officially a scrappy one.

O'Sullivan 0-0 Higgins (0-21)

What a reception for these two heroes. What they've done, what they're doing and, probably, what they will do is just incredible. John tries for one to left corner, misses by a distance, then uses the ball as part of a plant. But stretching with the rest he misses one to right corner, and though he gets away with it - there's nothing on - he'll be naused that he botched a decent opportunity to score big.

Away we go!

Baizing; the boys

You'll be unsurprised to hear

That I'm looking forward to this. Ronnie is playing the better of the two - he's been the best player in the competition so far, I'd say - but he's very wary of John, because he respects his game so much. John, though will need to do a lot better than he has - he'll win some frames by virtue of being himself, but it'll take a lot more than that for him to win this one.

Evening all!

Anyone for a spot of O'Sullivan v Higgins? Luuuuuvly.

That's all for now!

Right, that's us done for the afternoon session, but we're back this evening when the second semi-final gets underway, and you'll need your popcorn for that one - Ronnie O'Sullivan against John Higgins. You do not want to miss that. Join us from 7pm

Trump 7-1 Williams (94-0)

A break of 41 in the end for Trump, but the damage had already been long done. Mark Williams will have it all to do tomorrow. Judd could barely have dreamed of a better session - and he arguably hasn't played that well, he's just been more clinical and he's had a bit more luck

Trump 6-1 Williams (*86-0)

Trump gets the frame well over the line and starts picking off the remaining reds. Williams looks disconsolate in his chair, and you can understand why

Trump 6-1 Williams (*60-0)

Williams been successful with less than a third of his long pots today. He's left a choice of which red to go for by Trump, but he misses it, that right corner again, and now Judd can build again. He's already close to putting the frame over the line

Trump 6-1 Williams (53-0)

Judd picks his way around the table with a selection of blacks and pinks, although the latter is placed in the middle of the pack after being potted. The frame is now at his mercy as he passes the half-century mark - as long as the next split shot goes well, which it doesn't. End of break. Eight reds left on the table

Trump 6-1 Williams (*8-0)

And after the re-rack, we have a familiar scenario as Williams misses a red to the right corner, as he has done early on in several frames, followed by Trump cutting home a red just above the black spot. He's in again - and the reds are spread reasonably nicely

Trump 6-1 Williams

Trump then misses a red to the yellow pocket, before we quickly head towards our second re-rack of the afternoon

Trump 6-1 Williams (*6-0)

It's not an insurmountable lead yet, but Williams will be concerned about the way this session has gone so far. He gets frame eight underway, but it's Trump who sinks the first pot, another magnificent long red to the right corner. He's cued really well today

Trump 6-1 Williams (91-22)

In fact, Williams actually leaves the red on, a thin cut for Trump to secure the frame. That pretty much sums up Mark's day. He's five behind with only one frame left to play today. Massive, massive frame coming up

Trump 5-1 Williams (63-22)

Trump tries a cut to the right middle but misses it. 55 ahead with 51 on the table. Williams sinks the same ball and then cracks home a terrific long blue. Can he salvage something from the frame? Well, the last red is tucked behind the green, so he's got a great chance of laying a snooker, but doesn't quite manage it

Trump 5-1 Williams (*63-8)

Trump's positional play in this break has been magnificent. He's closing in on his highest break of the match, which is 70 at the moment, and he's already past the snookers required mark in this frame

Trump 5-1 Williams (*33-8)

Trump cleans up the reds at the top end of the table, but he can only take low value colours with them, so doesn't build a considerable lead. He gets to the other end of the table and opens up the pack off the black. Has the split gone well? He's got one red - to the left middle, and that could be the frame

Trump 5-1 Williams (1-8)

Some delicate safety play, with the cue ball on the top cushion, before Williams sinks a super pot to the middle. He adds a tough enough black, but misses a second red by a long way, and he's left the same ball for Trump

Trump 5-1 Williams (1-0)

A bit of a difficult table at the start of frame seven. Five reds have gone past the baulk line, so playing safe isn't easy. That's no problem to Judd anyway, as he cuts a thin one to the left middle. If he can add a colour, position on a red should be guaranteed, but he feels the pot isn't on and plays safe off the green

Trump 5-1 Williams

So Trump knows he's going to be ahead going into tomorrow. The question is by how many frames. Worth remembering that he's now won 13 of the last 14 he played, having reeled off eight in a row to beat Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals

Naughty snooker

Those two reds were something else from Trump

Trump 5-1 Williams (84-21)

42 the lead for Trump, 43 left on the table. He plays safe off the next red, but a few shots later he spits another red that can be poked home off the blue. And now he's got a five frame lead, finishing with a break of 21

Trump 4-1 Williams (*63-21)

Oh that is delightful and it could be the frame for Trump. Williams plays a red that is near the left middle, but the blue appears to be covering the pot. However, Trump plays the red off the cushion first, then onto the blue and into the pocket. Brilliant, just brilliant.

Trump 4-1 Williams (55-21)

Williams' problem is that four of the remaining six reds are tight on the top cushion. He pots the other two, with a pink and a black, but misses the cannon on the reds off the latter. He can still squeeze one home though, adding the blue before playing safe

Trump 4-1 Williams (55-0)

With seven reds left on the table and a 54 point lead, Trump isn't far from leaving Williams needing snookers. Mark misses a long red by miles, and he leaves one for Judd, who sinks it perfectly. He over cuts the yellow though, and now the Welshman has a real chance - because the cue ball is in prime position

Trump 4-1 Williams (54-0)

With no break over 70 as over yet, we obviously haven't had a frame won in one visit - in fact both players have had multiple chances in most frames. But it looks like Judd is about to set the record straight on that. He keeps nudging and flicking his way around the table and it's opening things up perfectly. However, a kiss on two reds off the pink leaves him short of position and the break comes to an end

Trump 4-1 Williams (*39-0)

Off his fifth red, Trump leaves himself high on the blue and he can now go into the pack. He splits them perfectly. What a glorious chance this is now. Our highest break so far today is 70 - can he eclipse that? Finishing dead straight on the pink makes like a little hard, but his cue power is remarkable as he screws back off the left cushion to really open up some options

Trump 4-1 Williams (*12-0)

Three frames to go in the session. Can Williams grab something from it? He needs to win them all to be level going into tomorrow - and he's missed another long red to that pesky right corner pocket at the start of this one. Naturally, he's left one for Trump, who pots that before adding the brown. That takes him back towards the pack, and now he's in position to capitalise

Trump 4-1 Williams (73-28)

Williams is just having one of those afternoons. The final red on the table just stays up as he tries to cut it into the left corner - and the white somehow goes in off into the left middle! Trump cleans that up and adds the blue. The frame is his.

Trump 3-1 Williams (58-28)

Trump attempts a red to the right middle, but it hits the knuckle and bounces back towards the pink spot. He's left it for Williams, who sinks that and then the black. One red left on the table, and he gets a bit lucky playing safe off it when kissing the black with the cue ball

Trump 3-1 Williams (54-20)

Judd escapes, but Williams is well on top in this safety battle as he responds with another excellent effort. A few shots later though and the tables are turned; Trump once more clipping home a really tough long red, before pushing the brown safe. He's 34 ahead with 43 left on the table

Trump 3-1 Williams (53-20)

Well; Williams appears to play a really handy safety, but Trump plays a shot-to-nothing on a red by the pink spot and cuts it home, while the cue ball comes back up past the baulk line. He plays safe off the yellow, before Williams sets another excellent trap. Can Judd pull an iron out of the fire this time?

Trump 3-1 Williams (52-30)

There's a cluster of four reds left on the table which Trump needs to disturb if he's going to continue his break. He brushes into them off the black, but only one really pops out, and he can't pot it,so again a break of early promise comes to an abrupt conclusion

Trump 3-1 Williams (*31-20)

A sumptuous pot on a red close to the left cushion, using the rest to sink it but losing control of the cue ball in the process. He then misses a black which was a horrible cut shot, but the result is Trump is now back at the table

Trump 3-1 Williams (30-19*)

Mark is left with one pot, a tough one to the left middle, and he finds the heart of the pocket. His potting has been pretty good so far today, to be fair, he just hasn't had the run of the balls. Here's a chance to put up a sizeable break though

Trump 3-1 Williams (30-6*)

Williams plays a poor safety, under cutting the red which sends it near to the left middle. I've got no idea what Trump shot played in response, but safe to say the result was not what he intended, hitting the red almost full ball, so it comes back down the table and finishes pretty much exactly where it was. Williams plays a delicious shot to stroke it home - and then goes into the pack off the blue with no luck whatsoever once again

Trump 3-1 Williams (30-0)

It's not long before Trump is back at the table with an opening though. He's picked off a handful of reds so far and at some point is going to have to go into the pack. He fails to do so after leaving himself no angle on the black and has to play safe.

Trump 3-1 Williams (8-0)

A bit of de ja vu at the start of frame five as Williams again misses a long red, and he's left one on for Trump, who brilliantly pots it to the left middle and holds for the black. It will only be a break for eight though as he can't find position on a second red

Trump 3-1 Williams

Right, the players are back with us after the mid-session interval. The table fitter has been having a look at the table during that 15 minute break after Williams' concerns at the end of frame four

Trump 3-1 Williams (34-65)

Trump finally concedes after a poor safety shot and Williams has his first frame of the semi-final, but that was a gruelling frame for him and a bit of a gruelling session as well. Mark also takes some time to leave the arena for the interval - he hits a couple of balls slowly towards the left corner, appearing to question whether or not the table is running flat

Trump 3-0 Williams (34-65)

I'm not sure how long we've been playing on this green, but it feels like ages. Trump is helped by the brown being towards the yellow pocket, but he's not been able to get the cue ball or green close to it with his last few shots. Judd then misses a thin contact, so a foul leaves him needing two snookers again

Trump 3-0 Williams (34-61)

Williams is left another long green, this time to the right corner, but he misses again. Trump responds with another excellent safety, putting the cue ball on the baulk cushion and the green at the other end of the table behind the black. But Williams responds perfectly, reversing the balls' positions. Suddenly he has a little bit of control

Trump 3-0 Williams (34-61)

Williams is left a long green to the left middle which rattles the jaws but bounces to safety. He's now been left in a world of trouble with a brilliant snooker by Trump, but escapes first time. Yes, this is the first to 17 frames, but already this one feels massive

Trump 3-0 Williams (34-61)

A shake of the head from Williams, who pots the yellow after Trump failed to escape that safety, but he kisses the blue and is now snookered on the green, which he misses! Now only one snooker required for Judd, who of course plays on

Trump 3-0 Williams (30-59)

Wow! Trump clips home the yellow, but then cannons the blue which drops into the green pocket. Maybe the run of the balls is changing? The yellow of course comes back up, but Judd now needs a snooker, and Mark has just played a glorious safety

Trump 3-0 Williams (30-54)

It's Judd's turn for a poor safety now, leaving a half chance for Williams, a long pot to the left corner, and he pots it magnificently. Again, though, no luck with the cue ball, which clips the black. He brilliantly clips that home and now needs to leave Trump requiring snookers - but he just over cuts it

Trump 3-0 Williams (30-46)

Williams' safety play hasn't been great so far. He plays another which leaves a red hanging towards the right middle, and Trump pots that before sinking the yellow. He runs out of position with the cue-ball off that though and is unable to sink the final red

Trump 3-0 Williams (27-46)

So, a 19 point lead for Williams with 43 points left. Both reds are now back at the top end of the table, so that makes safety play a little bit easier, but a safety from Williams brings one right back down the table and Trump has a think cut to the left middle which he just misses

Trump 3-0 Williams (27-46)

The last two reds are tricky. One is tight on the baulk cushion, the other a couple of inches off the left cushion and nearly level with the pink. He takes the one at the baulk end first, but it rattles the pocket before running safe. Still, an excellent break, his highest of the match so far

Trump 3-0 Williams (27-40*)

With five reds towards the baulk end of the table, Williams finishes the wrong side of the pink, which is on the blue spot, but he's still able to keep the break going. Again, the cue ball is having to do a lot of work though because of where those reds are

Trump 3-0 Williams (27-16*)

Oh what a pot by Williams. Nearly 20 minutes since he last scored a point, he rattles a red into the right middle to find a way into this frame. He's now playing around the black spot and this is a decent chance to make a sizeable score

Trump 3-0 Williams (27-0)

That was either genius or fortune by Trump, sending a red into the green pocket off the blue! He then rolls behind the black, but Williams plays a pretty handy escape.

Trump 3-0 Williams (26-0)

The first three reds are all taken with blues before Trump finally forces position on the black. He runs through the pack off of that, but he doesn't get much luck in doing so. The next shot is an attempted long red to the green pocket, but it's never really close. End of break

Trump 3-0 Williams (*12-0)

So can Williams stem the tide and take a frame before the mid-session interval? It's his turn to break off in frame four, which is followed by missed pots from both players. After a couple of safety shots, Trump rattles home a long red to the right corner, and potting the blue from that gives him perfect position.

Trump 3-0 Williams (100-8)

A break of 67 in the end from Trump before he misses the brown. He takes the frame - and when factoring in his quarter-final match, he has now won 11 frames in a row

Trump 2-0 Williams (*95-8)

Trump makes the frame safe before potting a blue to reach 50 for the break. The final two reds are added easily before taking the black. Now for the colours.

Trump 2-0 Williams (*66-8)

We haven't had many sizeable breaks in the opening two frames, but Trump is on his way to one now. With five reds left, he only needs two more for the frame, but he finishes the wrong side of the blue, so it's a tough shot from here. Somehow, though, he forces the cue-ball in and out of baulk and it is absolutely inch perfect. What a shot.

Trump 2-0 Williams (*36-8)

That safety battle lasts a grand total of two shots, one apiece, before Williams is left a long red. He plays it perfectly, sinking the shot, only for the cue-ball to kiss another red and follow it into the pocket. He's had very little luck so far. Judd can't believe his, meanwhile, because he's been gifted another huge opening

Trump 2-0 Williams (26-8)

Trump sinks a tough red along the top cushion, but he breaks down when over-cutting the next red. It hangs over the pocket invitingly for Williams, and he pots that before going into the pack off the black. There's no available red though, so we're in for a bit of a safety battle

Trump 2-0 Williams (*12-0)

Judd is looking confident. He thumps home a long red, which is a superb pot, at the start of frame three, but then runs out of position on the blue, catching the yellow on his way in and out of baulk. He plays safe, while Williams attempts a pot, but misses but a long way. He leaves a red with the rest for Trump, and if he can just get a bit more control of the cue ball, he has another big chance here

A bit of a fright!

He may be 2-0 down, but Mark had a bit of fun with referee Desislava Bozhilova when she was re-spotting the pink earlier

Trump 2-0 Williams (70-28)

Trump is looking sharp. He sinks a superb long green, deftly stroked home, before the trick shots come out off the blue. What a start for the Ace in the Pack

Trump 1-0 Williams (58-28)

Trump finishes the wrong side of the blue off the penultimate red, but he goes around the table, off three cushions, to leave himself a very thin cut off the final red, which he takes superbly. The pink is added, meaning Williams requires a snooker, and it's now two snookers as the yellow goes down.

Trump 1-0 Williams (*36-28)

Judd's pulling out some real party tricks in this break. He pots one horrible red right-handed - that wasn't easy - and has soon moved ahead on this frame. Three reds now left on the table - if he gets them with reasonably high value colours he'll be 2-0 up

Trump 1-0 Williams (*9-28)

In missing that blue, Williams leaves a red for Trump. He thumps it home and stuns through the pack, opening up the pink in the process. He adds the blue, along the cushion, before sinking a terrific thin cut on a red. Big opening now for Judd

Trump 1-0 Williams (0-28)

Mark is playing some wonderful, aggressive snooker. He strokes home a long red to the yellow pocket and is back at the table again now. There's still lots of work to do with the cue ball because of the pink and black being out of commission, and he's just missed a longish blue to the left corner. He shakes his head, because he doesn't miss many of them

Trump 1-0 Williams (0-16)

Williams is running out of colours a little bit here. He pots the pink, which the referee then takes some time to re-spot towards the back of the pack, so that's now unplayable, as is the black which runs towards the side cushion. He has to take the yellow with the rest and thumps it home, slightly over-hitting the cue-ball and therefore having to play safe

Trump 1-0 Williams (0-6*)

A fairly lengthy opening frame, then, after which Williams heads for a comfort break. He returns to get frame two underway and immediately leaves Trump in a lot of trouble. He's going to get an early chance at a pot now after a mistake from Trump, and he comfortably sinks it into the right middle.

Trump 1-0 Williams (78-46)

Williams attempts the safety off the brown but he leaves it on for Judd. This is a much tougher pot than the one he's just missed, but he finds the heart of the pocket. 19 ahead with 18 left on the table, so the blue will make doubly sure, and he adds that with the rest. First blood to the 2019 champion

Trump 0-0 Williams (63-46)

The problem ball for Judd is the brown, which has been pushed close to the top cushion. He misses it, with the ball rattling both jaws before coming away from the pocket.

Trump 0-0 Williams (60-46)

Williams eventually gets a pot on that last red but misses by a considerable distance. Trump cleans it up and adds the green as his colour, so he needs up to the brown to get over the line

Trump 0-0 Williams (54-46)

Trump misses the red with his escape, hits the pink and leaves a free-ball, but Williams puts him back in again. He eventually hits on the third attempt, and he puts it safe too. What a bonus

Trump 0-0 Williams (54-36)

Both players miss a pot on that penultimate red, but Williams pots at the second attempt using the rest. He adds the black before playing a very, very good safety. With the cue ball on the top cushion and the red in the D, Trump is in all kind of bother here

Trump 0-0 Williams (54-28)

Well, that should have been the last tricky shot, but he runs out of position somewhat off a red and has to stretch for the green. He pots it, but there's no real control over the cue-ball, which runs close to the right middle. He misses the subsequent red, so it's still all to play for

Trump 0-0 Williams (*50-28)

The reds have been so well spread by Williams that this is a bit of a gift for Judd. The last tricky shot really comes off the pink, which he nudges away from the remaining four reds, making it a stretch and a thin cut. Trump pots it perfectly and he's closing in on the finish line in frame one

Trump 0-0 Williams (*19-28)

Oh what a shame! Williams leaves himself high on the blue so he can go into the pack. This is the key shot and he catches is brilliantly, but a huge bit of misfortune sees a red career into the left corner thanks to a three-ball plant. What an opening this is for Trump now, who quickly pots two reds and two blacks.

Trump 0-0 Williams (0-19*)

And with his second break, Trump leaves a red to the left corner. Mark sinks it with an excellent long pot before adding the green, and already this frame is looking much more fluent

Trump 0-0 Williams

So, take two. Trump breaks off again and frame one is underway for a second time.

Trump 0-0 Williams (0-0)

You need a bit of luck in this kind of match, and Williams gets some early on, accidentally potting a red through a plant that he couldn't have spotted in a month of Sundays! He rolls up behind the green, which Judd escapes from. We're in for some more fine safety play - until Trump catches a red too thick and nearly goes in-off. Has he left anything? No, he's a lucky boy! In fact, we're heading for a re-rack

Trump 0-0 Williams (10-12)

The players trade fouls in a safety battle before Judd is left in a spot of bother by Williams. His escape doesn't sound great off the cue, and he leaves a tricky red to the right corner which Williams pots. With the black over the left corner, Mark was always going to be on a colour, but his next red is tougher - and he misses to the right middle

Trump 0-0 Williams (6-0)

A bit of a gimme for Trump early on, as Williams misses a tricky pot to the left corner by quite some distance. It comes back to the baulk end and Judd easily sinks it into the right middle. He adds the blue, but then a little cannon into the reds around the pink spot doesn't go to plan.

Here we go...

The boys hit the baize. Williams is first to join us, walking out to Delilah by Tom Jones. Trump follows. This is his 5th semi-final. It's a best of 33 affair, so a race to 17. Trump breaks off and we are underway

Trump gate-crashing the party

Judd is 15 years younger than Williams, and he's feeling it

Believe it or not...

Despite being on tour together for nearly two decades, this is the first time Trump and Williams have met at the World Snooker Championships - and what a stage for it to be at; the semi-finals and the box office setting that is the Crucible. There's also something extra special when it gets down to one table here

Trump v Williams

The first semi-final to get underway will be Judd Trump against Mark Williams. This is the 28th time they've met, with Trump winning 5 of the previous 9, but in last-four matches they've won two each

Good afternoon!

Grab your lunch, get a drink and buckle in. Because we've got some brilliant snooker drama coming up as the World Championships get underway. All four of this year's semi-finalists are previous winners; effectively we've got The GOAT, two other GOATs, and somebody who's on his way to becoming a GOAT.

Welcome

What a day of snooker action we have coming up!
Judd Trump will be taking on Mark Williams from 1pm UK time in the afternoon session.
That is before Ronnie O'Sullivan faces yet another legend of the sport, John Higgins, from 7pm UK time.
Yes, the 'Class of '92' trio are all in action in the last four at the Crucible with Trump joining the party in Sheffield.

'World Seniors Championship' - Trump jokes about O'Sullivan, Higgins, Williams

Judd Trump has joked about the "World Seniors Championship" he has found himself in the middle of as the final four approaches at the Crucible.
Ahead of the semi-finals at the World Championship, the 32-year-old has added some mirth to proceedings by observing that he is joining the 'Class of '92' on the biggest stage in Sheffield.
The Bristolian, who enjoyed a wild fluke from a treble and also joked with the crowd and referee over a cheeky trick as he overcame Stuart Bingham on Wednesday, is back in action against three-time champion Williams on Thursday afternoon.
Trump eventually held his composure to beat Bingham 13-8 and book a place in the last four, but now the challenge only gets trickier as he faces a red-hot Williams, who has arguably been the form player so far at the prestigious tournament.
Ahead of the encounter with 'The Welsh Potting Machine', Trump took to social media to jest about the ages of the three players who are left in the draw with him at the Crucible. At the same time, he noted that they were "three legends of the game".
"I've ended up stuck in the middle of a World Seniors Championship," Trump wrote on Twitter.
"Super excited for the semi-finals, though, still battling it out with three legends of the game!"

‘He can’t play like that’ - White fires warning to O’Sullivan

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