June 17, 2024

Ronnie O’Sullivan crashes out of world championship to Stuart Bingham

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump both crashed out of the World Snooker Championship on an extraordinary day of quarter-final action at the Crucible.

The two top-ranked players had been odds-on to set up a mouthwatering last-four clash but were dumped out by the qualifiers Stuart Bingham and Jak Jones respectively.

Bingham was in sensational form, reviving memories of his world title in 2015. He has since lost his place in the world’s top 16, and came into the tournament ranked at No 29, but he pulled away from an increasingly agitated O’Sullivan, reeling off the final three frames to seal a nerve-jangling 13-10 win.

Coupled with David Gilbert’s 13-8 win over Stephen Maguire, it means three qualifiers have reached the semi-finals for the first time since the first year the tournament was staged at the Crucible in 1977. Gilbert will face Kyren Wilson after the latter – the world No 12 – secured a 13-8 victory over John Higgins.

Ronnie O’Sullivan crashes out of world championship to Stuart Bingham

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump both crashed out of the World Snooker Championship on an extraordinary day of quarter-final action at the Crucible.

The two top-ranked players had been odds-on to set up a mouthwatering last-four clash but were dumped out by the qualifiers Stuart Bingham and Jak Jones respectively.

Bingham was in sensational form, reviving memories of his world title in 2015. He has since lost his place in the world’s top 16, and came into the tournament ranked at No 29, but he pulled away from an increasingly agitated O’Sullivan, reeling off the final three frames to seal a nerve-jangling 13-10 win.

Ronnie O'Sullivan in action against Stuart Bingham in their quarter-final
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Coupled with David Gilbert’s 13-8 win over Stephen Maguire, it means three qualifiers have reached the semi-finals for the first time since the first year the tournament was staged at the Crucible in 1977. Gilbert will face Kyren Wilson after the latter – the world No 12 – secured a 13-8 victory over John Higgins.

Wednesday’s results mean Mark Allen will be the new world No 1 at the start of next season. Despite going out to Higgins in the second round at the Crucible, the Northern Irishman’s form over the last two seasons – winning five ranking titles – means he has moved above O’Sullivan and Trump, whose points from the 2022 world final have come off.

O’Sullivan nudged in front with a break of 136 in the first frame of the evening but grew increasingly erratic, and punched the table in frustration after missing a red in the 21st frame.

Bingham produced a nerveless break of 104 to nudge one frame from victory, then held on in the next despite missing a pink to the middle that had given O’Sullivan a glimmer of hope.

O’Sullivan, who missed the chance to become the first eight-time world champion of the modern era, shrugged off the nature of his defeat.Jak Jones lines up a red during his victory over Judd Trump.

“I quite enjoyed it,” said O’Sullivan. “I like the fight. A lot of the time I haven’t had the fight. It’s just about controlling that sort of temper. I used to get angry and it would last for 20 minutes but now I can pretty much delete it and it doesn’t affect my performance.”

At one point, with fans watching the match on the other table returning to their seats and the two players sitting down and waiting, O’Sullivan seemed flustered and told the referee, Desislava Bozhilova, to “chill”. She replied, with a smile: “I am chilled.”

Bingham said: “Everyone will be looking at the draw thinking: ‘This is my chance to be world champion’. I can’t take anything for granted and though I’m the only one [left] to have got my hands on that trophy, I don’t know if it’ll count for much.

“It would mean everything. There aren’t many people who have won it twice. The last two seasons have not been great. I was out of the top 32 and I played with no expectations. I’ve gone toe to toe with the best player ever and I’ve come out on top.”

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