O'Sullivan crashes out
Ronnie O'Sullivan was dumped out of the UK Championship after a 6-4 quarter-final defeat to Stuart Bingham.
Bingham led 3-1 at the mid-session interval but the 'Rocket' got himself back in the game with two sparkling centuries.
But the world number 10 held his nerve to reverse his defeat in the recent Champion of Champions final in Coventry and advance to the last four.
O'Sullivan was keen to avoid any festivities as he marked his 38th birthday - and Bingham was evidently of the same mind.
The Basildon player ruthlessly took the opening two frames, the second with an excellent 131 break.
O'Sullivan pulled one back with a 59 but turned down a desperately tight last red in the next and Bingham got over the line to lead 3-1.
He took the first frame back as well but O'Sullivan finally clicked into top gear in frame six, a 135 in seven and a half minutes closing the gap to 4-2.
The resurgence continued with a 46 break but Bingham took the next with 48 and 28 to move within a frame of victory.
Again O'Sullivan found a high-class response, this time a 127, but after making 28 he let Bingham in and was punished with a classy 41 break.
After a safety battle, Bingham put the match to bed with the last red.
O'Sullivan was gracious in defeat and said: "I want to congratulate Stuart, he played a fantastic match and he's had another brilliant tournament.
"He's an in-form player, a seasoned player now, so you just have to congratulate him on a fantastic performance and I just wish him the best of luck for the rest of the tournament.
"It just shows the character of the guy, he's able to do it under pressure now so all credit to him, and good luck to him."
Bingham will face Neil Robertson in the semi-final after the Australian beat Stephen Maguire 6-2.
That sees him tackle the world number one having just beaten the world champion but he said: "You've got to beat everyone in front of you.
"I've got not a bad record against Neil and I'll be pretty confident. It's my first UK semi-final and, I'm going to jinx myself here but I've got a good semi-final record."
Robertson, who made a superb 128 in frame six but otherwise struggled once more with conditions on table two, acknowledged: "Probably with how he's played, you'd probably make Stuart favourite.
"Stuart will fancy his chances. He's beaten the best player in the world and he's beaten me the last couple of times, so he won't be scared of me.
"I really need to raise my game because at the moment it's probably not good enough to reach the final."
Neither Robertson nor Maguire was in top form in the early stages, summed up when Robertson took a 2-0 lead after Maguire potted an unwanted red while needing snookers.
The Australian's opening 29 break in the next ended when he missed following applause for O'Sullivan on the other table, but a 35 won him the frame and he added the fourth.
Maguire pulled one back but Robertson re-asserted his authority with that 128 clearance.
And though the Scot got another frame on the board, a tight eighth frame went Robertson's way after a closing 38 break.
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