World Snooker Championship 2012: O'Sullivan beats Robertson

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
O'Sullivan century on route to semi final

Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Neil Robertson 13-10 to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship.

Having gone 5-3 behind, the three-time winner took control of the match in the second session with a 9-7 lead, after winning six straight frames.

Two centuries in the final session added gloss to a superb performance from O'Sullivan.

Robertson pulled two frames back, but O'Sullivan completed the win and faces Matthew Stevens in the last four.

The 36-year-old looked to have a focus and determination about him which had not regularly been seen since his world title win back in 2008, and now becomes favourite to win the tournament for the fourth time.

Having captured the German Masters in February, his first ranking title for over two years, O'Sullivan was brimming with confidence, striding around the baize, magician-like, with the balls under the spell of his cue.

It was a complete display, with the correct shot selection and discipline which has sometimes been called into question. In the midst of the balls, he was lethal, scoring with speed and confining the Australian to his chair as his adversary lapped up the adulation of the partisan Crucible Theatre crowd. There was no talk of retirement after this match.

Robertson, 30, came out and took the all-important first frame of the session, but minutes later, he was back to being two frames behind as O'Sullivan knocked in a composed 104.

The Melbourne man was in amongst the balls in the following frame, but broke down on 44 after missing the black off the spot. It proved to be a crucial miss as his opponent stroked in a 77 to gain a strong hold on the match at 11-8.

A quick-fire 100 in the next put O'Sullivan one away from victory, but Robertson showed grit and dug in to nick a couple of frames back with knocks of 89 and 77.

The mini-comeback was futile as Englishman O'Sullivan wrapped up the match to advance into the next round.

After the second session, O'Sullivan had a 9-7 lead over Robertson. Their previous meeting at the championship had come in 2007, with O'Sullivan winning 13-10 on that occasion. Down 5-3 overnight, 'The Rocket' came out and made the perfect start by taking the first two frames of the second session in quick succession.

Robertson was able to get his hand on the table for the first time but was not able to take advantage as O'Sullivan nipped in to take the lead.

The Australian was looking shaken though, making uncharacteristic errors when in among the balls. His mistakes were punished as he fell 7-5 behind.

Robertson was struggling, and despite spending the mid-session interval in the practice room to loosen up his cue-action, it failed to deliver instant rewards as O'Sullivan took two more frames with something to spare to make it six in a row.

But after slowing the game down, Robertson was able to get on the scoreboard in a scrappy 15th and took the last one too with a break of 63 to remain in touch ahead of the final session.

In a tight opening session, both players made 100 breaks and O'Sullivan stroked in a 93 to level at 3-3, but after Robertson had taken the seventh, O'Sullivan missed a blue to the centre in a dramatic final frame to hand Robertson a 5-3 lead.