DEFENDING champion Ronnie O’Sullivan put up an impressive defence of his title after blitzing his way into this Saturday’s semi-final of this year’s Champion of Champions event at the Ricoh Arena.
Fan favourite O’Sullivan produced a stunning performance to demolish Marco Fu 6-0 in their Group 1 final on Wednesday evening.
O’Sullivan had already got the better of Stuart Bingham 4-2 earlier in the day in a repeat of last year’s final.
And the world number four picked up where he left off to defeat Fu and set up a mouth-watering final four clash against Ding Junhui this Saturday.
“I am pleased to still be in the tournament, this is one of the better tournaments we play in,” said O’Sullivan.
“To still be in it and have the weekend to look forward to is great.
“I was expecting a tough match but I watched a bit of Marco’s game and you could see he was struggling a little bit and on Wednesday he struggled with his game. You have to go out there and do a job and try and get the win.
“Ding is the winner of five major ranking events last season and only Stephen Hendry has been able to do that in the past so that is a measure of the quality player Ding is.
“We have good games when we play each other and I like playing Ding because he plays the right shots. I will look forward to it.”
Fu had gone into his clash with O’Sullivan high in confidence having beaten Shaun Murphy 4-1 on Wednesday afternoon.
But it turned out to be a highly disappointing end for the player from Hong Kong who admits he found it much tougher in the evening session.
He said: “Ronnie played pretty well but I didn’t take my chances. I didn’t play well in either match today.
“I wasn’t good enough but I caught Shaun on a bad day, so it was one of those matches where we both lost a lot of balls and I managed to win.
“It is a little bit frustrating. I need to spend a little bit of time on my own practicing.
“Next week will be vital to make sure I am physically and mentally ready for York, because it is a big tournament everybody wants to do very well in. I need to use next week wisely and hopefully I can get my form back.”
There are no matches being played on Thursday but the action resumes for Group 3 on Friday when Neil Robertson takes on Ali Carter and Ricky Walden faces Mark Allen again in a repeat of their recent International Championship final in China.
Marco Fu was disappointed with his performance against defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan. Photo by Jon Mullis