Ronnie O’Sullivan into record 13th Crucible semi-final but insists ‘I’m no superstar’

Ronnie O’Sullivan breaks Stephen Hendry’s record in reaching the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship for a 13th time with a 13-5 win over Stephen Maguire; the winner of John Higgins and Jack Lisowski awaits in the last four

Last Updated: 27/04/22 11:55am

Ronnie O’Sullivan is through the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship for a record 13th time

Ronnie O’Sullivan has insisted “I’m no superstar” after cruising into the Crucible semi-finals for a record 13th time by wrapping up a 13-5 win over Stephen Maguire.

The 46-year-old reeled off breaks of 71 and 126 in the first two frames of the morning session to clinch victory and surpass the record he had shared with Stephen Hendry for reaching the last four.

But, despite closing on emulating Hendry’s record of seven world titles, O’Sullivan is adamant that the Scot’s dominance of the sport in the 1990s still makes him the greatest.

“Stephen is an all-time legend for me, the greatest player,” O’Sullivan told the BBC.

“He was the Tiger Woods of snooker. Me, John (Higgins) and Mark (Williams) have all done well, but when he was flying he was a superstar.

Stephen Hendry won the World Snooker Championship a record seven times in the 1990s

Stephen Hendry won the World Snooker Championship a record seven times in the 1990s

“When there’s three of us, we’re not superstars. But when there’s one man dominating the sport like he did, like Tiger Woods, it’s a different level.”

O’Sullivan had carved a commanding lead despite never quite hitting top form against Scottish qualifier Maguire on Tuesday, but showed glimpses of his best upon the resumption after a missed black from his opponent sealed his fate.

It was another commanding win from O’Sullivan, who started the tournament by losing the first three frames of his first-round match to David Gilbert before storming back to beat the former semi-finalist 10-5, before then blowing away Mark Allen 13-4 in round two.

O’Sullivan, who will play either Higgins or Jack Lisowski in the last four, described his performance as “workmanlike”, but said he was looking forward to returning to the Crucible’s one-table set-up on Thursday.

“It’s workmanlike more than flowing, but I’ve had to learn to steady the ship and I think that’s the key to being consistent – being able to minimise the bad spells,” said O’Sullivan.

“I am looking forward to it. When it comes to the one-table set-up you can relax a bit more, and I’m excited still to be in the tournament and to get there.”

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