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Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby through to UK Championship semi-finals

Ronnie O'Sullivan in action against Matthew Stevens
Image: Ronnie O'Sullivan has only dropped five frames at York this week so far

Ronnie O'Sullivan remains on course for a record-equalling sixth UK Championship title after defeating Mark Williams 6-2 in his York quarter final.

It will be a ninth semi final appearance for O'Sullivan at snooker's second-biggest event and he has dropped just five frames in five matches so far.

His fellow former world champion Williams kept pace early on, before he was swept away after the mid-session interval.

O'Sullivan reeled off breaks of 64, 60 and 78 to seal his victory, as he looks to match Steve Davis' haul of UK triumphs.

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O'Sullivan said: "I just had to keep powering away and I felt I would have too much for Mark.

"It wasn't the greatest performance, but I'm sure my game will get stronger and it will need to if I'm going to consistently win again.

"But I'm a fighter and I'll keep fighting until it happens."

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Williams felt he had lost to an under-par O'Sullivan, and said: "That's probably the worst I've seen him play against me and he still hammered me."

Current world champion Mark Selby is also through to the last four, having beaten John Higgins 6-5 after five hours of captivating snooker culminated in a nail-biting deciding frame.

Higgins came into the match in fine form but made a sluggish start and Selby surged into a 3-0 lead thanks to breaks of 119, 63 and 67.

Mark Selby
Image: Mark Selby won an epic showdown with John Higgins

Higgins then won four frames in a row though, but Selby responded and the match went all the way to the colours in the decider.

A fluked yellow gave Higgins an opening but he then failed to cut the green in, and Selby capitalised to set up a semi-final against Shaun Murphy, who beat Luca Brecel 6-1.

Selby said: "It's great drama for you guys but it's not for us.

"It was a strange game. Apart from the first three frames, where I played well, after that it swung both ways throughout the match.

"I'd rather these matches be a lot easier than keep putting myself through that.

"I'm 33 and I feel about 53 but, when it comes down to last frames, I always feel confident because I've won so many deciders in the past. I try to get some belief from that."

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