Ronnie O’Sullivan has reached the semi-finals of the 2022 Cazoo Champion of Champions after wins over Robert Milkins and Zhao Xintong at the University of Bolton Stadium, Bolton live on ITV4 in the UK and broadcasters worldwide.
The seven-time world champion was made to sweat by an inspired Milkins in the afternoon in a 4-2 win that saw O’Sullivan make 50+ breaks in all the frames he won. Zhao meanwhile was made to work for his win over the current women’s world champion Mink Nutcharut. Mink levelled up at 1-1 and had opportunities to pull it back when 3-2 behind before Zhao made a spring to the finish to meet O’Sullivan in the Group 2 final.
It promised to be a blockbuster evening clash for the final spot in the semi-finals and it delivered at a frantic pace. O’Sullivan made light work of the opening two frames limiting Zhao’s table time before an expert clearance of 135 put him three to the good. A contribution of 59 before the interval put O’Sullivan only two away from the semi-finals.
On return, Zhao found some table time for the first time in the match to make a 92 clearance to trail by three. The performance from O’Sullivan was the world number one at his very best and soon it was job done with breaks of 94 and 108 to complete a big win 6-1 in front of a full house in Bolton.
O’Sullivan told ITV “He’s (Zhao Xintong) an amazing player and brilliant talent. I am sure he will have an amazing future. Hopefully, he does because I have a soft spot for him. Technically. It’s all there.”
“I haven’t really played really since Sheffield and getting bits and pieces in. Fan (Zhengyi) deserved his victory that day (Fan beat O’Sullivan in the European Masters final back in February). I look forward to playing the game on Saturday night,” added O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan will continue his quest for a fourth Cazoo Champion of Champions title against Fan Zhengyi on Saturday night in a repeat of the 2022 European Masters final in Milton Keynes earlier this year.
The first semi-final takes place tomorrow evening from 6:45pm UK time as defending champion Judd Trump meets four-time world champion Mark Selby live on ITV4 in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Spain, and Italy as well as on Viaplay in Scandinavia and the Baltics and Matchroom.Live if you are in a country without a broadcaster. See the full list of where to watch here.