It was the third time they’ve met in 2021 already.
Ronnie O’Sullivan overcame John Higgins with a 10-8 scoreline to reach the semi-finals of the Tour Championship on Monday at the Celtic Manor.
In a tense battle, Higgins never fully recovered after losing the last two frames of the opening session and the first of the evening’s play to trail 6-3.
The Scot admirably fought on and at one point looked like he might be able to force a deciding frame, but O’Sullivan ultimately held on.
It offers the Rocket a touch of revenge after his recent 10-3 hiding to Higgins in the final of the Players Championship last month.
O’Sullivan also lost to Higgins in the Masters, but pre-match cue woes didn’t get in the way of his victory on this occasion.
The 45 year-old, who has been a runner-up in four ranking finals since capturing a sixth world crown last August, compiled a brace of century breaks to take his record career tally to 1,100.
After pipping Higgins then to reach the Tour Championship semi-finals, O’Sullivan will next encounter the winner of Thursday’s first-round clash between Judd Trump and Barry Hawkins.
Before that, Neil Robertson and Jack Lisowski will do battle on Tuesday to secure a last-four spot on the opposite side of the draw.
Lisowski has only beaten Robertson on one occasion – in the Championship League – and lost to the Thunder from Down Under in the 2019 China Open final.
Yet, the 29 year-old is actually in better form at present, highlighted by an unusually barren spell for Robertson in which the Australian has won only one contest since claiming the UK Championship title in December.
Even so, Robertson is the favourite to progress, with bookmaker-ratings.com offering reviews and bonus offers for a lot of the major online betting firms.
Judd Trump (1) vs Barry Hawkins (8) – Thursday 25th
John Higgins (4) 8-10 Ronnie O’Sullivan (5) – Monday 22nd
Neil Robertson (3) vs Jack Lisowski (6) – Tuesday 23rd
Mark Selby (2) vs Kyren Wilson (7) – Wednesday 24th
Where to Watch the Tour Championship
The tournament will be available to UK and Irish viewers on ITV4, and fans around the world will also have various other options available to them, which you can find more details for by clicking here.
As has become the norm since last year, the tournament in its entirety will be staged behind closed doors.
Featured photo credit: WST