John Higgins whitewashed Ronnie O’Sullivan in a ranking event for the first time in 23 years to reach the Scottish Open semi-finals.

The Scot rattled in three consecutive century breaks – 109, 117 and 105 – to open up a 4-0 interval lead.

‘The Rocket’, who has won three ranking titles recently, rallied briefly but a 72 break from Higgins sealed a 5-0 win.

Higgins will next face Neil Robertson, who beat China’s Xiao Guodong 5-4, while Judd Trump beat Stephen Maguire.

O’Sullivan, who has won the English Open, Shanghai Masters and UK Championship in the last two months, paid tribute to his opponent’s superb performance.

“John’s a class act; an amazing player, unbelievable,” he said. “He’s got touch, skill, power – he’s got everything. If you were going to build a snooker player, you would build John.


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