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Page last updated at 14:50 GMT, Friday, 11 September 2009 15:50 UK

O'Sullivan sets up Higgins clash

Ronnie O'Sullivan
O'Sullivan beat Higgins 18-14 to win his first world title in 2001

World number one Ronnie O'Sullivan secured a place in the Shanghai Masters semi-finals with a 5-3 win over local favourite Ding Junhui.

He will now play world champion John Higgins on Saturday evening after the Scotsman comfortably beat Ryan Day 5-1.

Shaun Murphy beat Ken Doherty 5-0 in the battle of former world champions.

Breaks of 75, 68, 62, 53 and 123 sealed victory in 75 minutes for Murphy, who now faces Liang Wenbo after his 5-3 win over defending champion Ricky Walden.

Ding went ahead against O'Sullivan with a break of 57, the first of seven over 50 between the players in a high-quality encounter.

O'Sullivan moved 3-1 ahead after runs of 64 and 101, a 99 from Ding reduced the deficit to 4-3 but O'Sullivan sealed it with an 83.

"I went into the match with the mentality that I had to raise my game and play better than I had in my first two matches," O'Sullivan said.

"Ding had been flowing and I knew I could lose. That helped keep my mind sharp. It was a strange game, Ding was first in the balls in every frame. He'll be disappointed because he might feel he deserved to win.

"Sometimes a frame is decided on one ball, and you have to take your chance when it comes."

52 & Counting 2008/09

Despite O'Sullivan's prediction, Ding said: "I'm not disappointed because I stayed focused throughout the match and it was the best I played during the tournament. I was a bit unlucky."

The Higgins-Day match was a dour affair, lasting one hour and 43 minutes, with the Scot admitting: "I'm very pleased to win but it was a bad match, Ryan had lots of chances.

"When two players miss balls they feed off each other, the same as when they play well. It was just a bad match."

Two centuries were not enough for Walden as Liang of China booked a meeting with world-number-three Murphy in Saturday's first semi-final.

Doherty, who racked up only 49 points against Murphy, admitted he had been outplayed and said: "If Shaun keeps playing like that he'll be hard to stop.

"I've only been whitewashed a handful of times in my career and I don't remember being beaten as well as I was today. When he got in, he finished the frames off with one chance."

Murphy has now recorded successive whitewashes following his 5-0 rout of Jamie Cope in the previous round.

"I've played tight, not given away chances and scored well when I've been in the balls," he said. "My next match is sure to be difficult but hopefully I'll keep winning."

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see also
Impressive Walden sees off Hendry
10 Sep 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan crushes Dott in China
09 Sep 09 |  Snooker
Shanghai Masters results
13 Sep 09 |  Snooker
Snooker pair in police bet probe
27 Aug 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Hendry battles to win in Shanghai
08 Sep 09 |  Snooker
Doherty eases to win in Shanghai
07 Sep 09 |  Snooker
Hendry talks up Chinese potential
02 Sep 09 |  Snooker
Walden stuns O'Sullivan in final
05 Oct 08 |  Snooker

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