Snooker: Rejuvenated Rocket looks set to blast off


A rejuvenated Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Bristol's Judd Trump 5-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Welsh Open in Newport yesterday.

A gripping match of high quality boasted three century breaks, including a 139 from O'Sullivan. Frames were traded frames until the sixth, when the three-times world champion went up a gear.

"I just wanted to play my game, give him something to think about and impose my game on him," said the 36-year-old O'Sullivan. "I enjoy playing Judd and you know you're going to get your chances. He goes for his shots and you need to score heavy to punish him when he misses. You never know if you have left him safe or not. "When you're playing under those circumstances it keeps you under the cosh. I used to do that to players – now I know how they felt."

Trump beat the "Rocket" in both the UK Championship and the Masters this season, but O'Sullivan recently took his first ranking event since 2010, the German Masters. Yesterday he played a conservative game, hitting safety shots when needed and taking his chances clinically.