Players Championship: Neil Robertson beats Judd Trump to reach final

Snooker
Players Championship: Neil Robertson beats Judd Trump to reach final

Australian Neil Robertson won five of the last six frames to beat Judd Trump and reach the final of the Players Championship in Preston.

World number five Trump made a 100 break en route to a 3-1 interval lead.

But Welsh Open winner Robertson made a 140 total clearance, the highest break of the tournament, in a fine comeback.

Earlier, defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan moved onto 997 career centuries and sealed a semi-final with Mark Allen by beating John Higgins 6-4.

Robertson looked set to lose the first two frames without scoring a point, but decided to accumulate 35 points when the second frame had already been lost and that practice proved useful with a 71 to win frame three.

Trump, who won the last four frames to beat Jack Lisowski in the previous round, had beaten Robertson in their last two encounters but the Australian potted a superb long red to thwart any threat of a deciding frame.

The 68th match between O'Sullivan and Higgins, the two 43-year-olds, tied Steve Davis and Jimmy White's record for the most head-to-head games.

It was 2-2 at the interval before O'Sullivan made a 101 clearance, soon followed by a 92, to move 4-2 up.

He added a 116 en route to his 36th win over Higgins and a semi-final with Mark Allen on Saturday.

The opening frame saw O'Sullivan miss a red into the centre on 43, but Higgins inadvertently nudged in the pink when potting the final red to allow his opponent to secure the frame with a 20.

Higgins levelled with a clearance of 27 after O'Sullivan left a free ball and then made a 96 to make it all square at the break.

As the players acclimatised to the fast table, O'Sullivan surged ahead, before breaks of 65 and 61 from Higgins reduced the gap to 4-3.

With Higgins looking to take the match to a decider, O'Sullivan made a 53 in frame 10 but missed a delicate cut into the centre with a red that would have left Higgins needing snookers.

However, Higgins played a poor positional shot and then left a red with his attempted safety as O'Sullivan wrapped up the match, putting him comfortably ahead of Higgins in their long history of meetings.

The Scotsman has 29 wins to the Englishman's 36 and they drew three times in the now discontinued Premier League.

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