Ronnie O’Sullivan will contest his sixth Cazoo Champion of Champions final after beating Fan Zhengyi 6-2 to set up a mouth-watering clash with defending champion Judd Trump tomorrow at the University of Bolton Stadium live on ITV4 in the UK and broadcasters worldwide.
O’Sullivan was quick out of the traps to a raucous crowd in the northwest making 89 in the first before the first century of the match (117) doubled his advantage to leave Fan chasing shadows early on. The pair crossed paths in the European Masters final earlier this year when it was Fan who ran out victorious 10-9 and he knew he’d have to keep pace to have any chance of taking it the distance this time around. At 39-1 up in the third, Fan was gifted his chance to see out his earlier contribution to get his first frame on the board with O’Sullivan leaving a red in prime position.
Soon, O’Sullivan led 3-1 at the interval thanks to a break of 89 to leave Fan seated and knowing there was work to do afterward. The O’Sullivan momentum showed no sign of slowing down with a dominant performance in the fifth frame and 55 helping him to a 4-1 lead, two away from the final.
Fan had spent time on the table in the interval looking to regroup but he lost position when 33-0 up in the sixth. A brief safety exchange ensued where O’Sullivan prevailed to make 55 and take it from Fan’s claws to be 5-1 to the good.
Despite the downfall in the previous frame, Fan regrouped with a wonderful clearance of 123 to keep O’Sullivan at bay and cut the deficit to 5-2 with the highest contribution of the match.
The tide was only stemmed briefly though, O’Sullivan made 53 and 75 in the final frame to deliver an emphatic win that sees him face Trump in tomorrow’s final. The first time they will have met since the World Championship final in May.
O’Sullivan told ITV: “It’s great for everyone who loves their snooker. Hopefully, I can play a little bit better than I have done. To give Judd a game, I will have to, because he looks like he’s playing the best snooker this week. He looks to be in good form. I will have to raise my game to have a chance of winning.”
The final of the 2022 Cazoo Champion of Champions is a Best of 19 frames played over two sessions with the afternoon session underway from 12:45 pm tomorrow before the evening session from 6:45 pm. O’Sullivan is going for a record fourth title whilst Trump will be looking to become only the second player to defend his title. Action is 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.