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Page last updated at 21:04 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009

Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins will meet in semis

Pukka Pies UK Snooker Championship
Venue: Telford International Centre Dates: Sat 5 Dec to Sun 13 Dec Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website.

Ronnie O'Sullivan defeats Mark Selby

Video - O'Sullivan reaches semis

Four-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan will meet reigning world champion John Higgins in the last four of the UK championship in Telford.

Both men booked their semi-final spots with comfortable wins early on in the second sessions of their matches.

Higgins quickly added the three frames he needed to wrap up a win over China's Liang Wenbo, easing to a 9-2 victory.

O'Sullivan dropped the first frame of the second session to Mark Selby but won three in a row to triumph 9-3.

Selby started the evening session well, knocking in a break of 136 to take the opening frame, but that only seemed to spur 34-year-old O'Sullivan into action.

It's a win I suppose, but it's hard to be happy or filled with any joy

Ronnie O'Sullivan

The Chigwell star seized upon a missed red by his opponent in the next frame and punished him with a break of 94 to restore his four-frame advantage.

O'Sullivan again capitalised on a Selby error to take the 11th frame of the match and move within one frame of victory.

The 12th and decisive frame was a scrappy affair, at one point Selby needed two snookers to stay in the match but was still in no mood to concede defeat.

O'Sullivan finally wrapped up the win by firing in a pink to move into the Telford semi-finals, but he was not completely satisfied with his display.

"The scoreline flattered me," said O'Sullivan.

"Mark had his chances but he didn't take them. It's a win I suppose, but it's hard to be happy or filled with any joy. I could have been more clinical."

The Essex potter had powered into a 6-2 lead after the first session of his quarter-final with his Leicestershire opponent. He opened with an 82 break before a 104 saw him go 3-1 up.

Selby overcut the blue to also lose the next frame but made it 4-2 with a 90 break.


O'Sullivan replied with 94 and stole the final frame of the session on the black.

Higgins dominated the afternoon sessions and the Scotsman made breaks of 90, 110 and 129 to open up a 6-2 interval lead over Liang.

Higgins won a vital fifth frame on the black to extend his lead to 5-0 and a break of 78 took him 6-1 clear before Liang posted 124 in the final frame to give himself a glimmer of hope.

Higgins moved quickly in the second session to end any notion of a remarkable, if unlikely comeback from the young Chinese star.

A break of 56 was enough for Higgins to move 7-2 ahead in the opening frame of the evening session, while a 73 break and a classy 115 secured his spot in the final four.

"I nicked a couple of frames today which was the difference," said Higgins.

"Instead of going 3-1 or 4-2 I managed to nick them and end up 5-0 in front and they were the turning points.

"I going to need to improve if I'm playing Ronnie in the next round but that'll be a game I will look forward to."

O'Sullivan and Higgins will meet in the semis on Saturday, with Stephen Maguire and Ding Junhui meeting in the first semi on Friday.

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see also
UK Championship 2009 - full results
05 Dec 09 |  Snooker
Ding & Maguire reach semi-finals
09 Dec 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan delight at Hearn role
08 Dec 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan cruises past Stevens
07 Dec 09 |  Snooker
'Tortured' Hendry defeats Davis
06 Dec 09 |  Snooker
Murphy dreaming of more UK glory
04 Dec 09 |  Snooker
Hearn confirmed as snooker chief
17 Dec 09 |  Snooker
UK Championship gets Pukka deal
12 Nov 09 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker

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