Snooker: O'Sullivan faces Dott after rout of Hendry

Ronnie O'Sullivan's 17-4 Embassy World Championship semi-final demolition of Stephen Hendry, relentless in execution for all its fluidity and grace, fully expressed the genius of an authentic superstar.

Ronnie O'Sullivan's 17-4 Embassy World Championship semi-final demolition of Stephen Hendry, relentless in execution for all its fluidity and grace, fully expressed the genius of an authentic superstar.

"You've got to sit there and admire the way he plays,'' said Hendry, who in 19 visits to the Crucible has won seven titles, reached two other finals and never suffered anything remotely approaching such a trouncing. "It's not as if I've played hideously badly, just that I didn't get into the match quickly enough and he ran all over me.''

O'Sullivan, the 2001 champion, led 13-3 before winning four of yesterday's five frames to guarantee not only his place in the final but the No 1 place in the end-of-season rankings. His catalogue of breaks included two centuries, 127 and 117, and nine more over 60, several from no more than half-chances.

Neither were there any of the histrionic gestures which attracted criticism in his early matches here. The influence of his new mentor, Ray Reardon, six times world champion in the 1970s and a byword for professional behaviour, is discernible there. "His input has been important,'' O'Sullivan acknowledged.

O'Sullivan's 71 took yesterday's opening frame before a rare error allowed Hendry to post one in consolation with a 75 clearance. O'Sullivan's 93 at 15-4 and 79 a frame later left a Birmingham punter who had displayed the foresight to invest £10,000 at 3-1 before the tournament confidently expecting a payout, as do Ladbrokes, who quote O'Sullivan at 1-7 for the title.

While Hendry will never again dominate the sport as he did in the Nineties, the world rankings due out on Tuesday will still have him third, behind only O'Sullivan and Mark Williams. "It's not like all of a sudden I've gone,'' said the 35-year-old. "I lost to the better player over three days.''

Graeme Dott, a 200-1 pre-tournament outsider, qualified to oppose O'Sullivan for the title with a tense 17-15 win over Matthew Stevens - now three times a losing semi-finalist in four years. "For his first time in the semi-finals here, Graeme handled himself brilliantly," said Stevens generously.

Gritty and determined, Dott always managed to respond when the more fluent Stevens put him under pressure. The unheralded Scot wonthree of the first four frames yesterday - a break of 111 from Stevens providing the exception - to lead 15-12.

When Stevens recovered to 15-15, the Welshman looked favourite, but Dott held on to his 47-0 lead in the next frame. Stevens, first in with 45, looked set to take the contest the full distance but lost position for the blue with the balls wide open.

Dott replied with 51 and ultimately resolved a lengthy safety duel on the blue by laying a snooker which created the chance for him to pot blue and pink for victory.

"I've tried to make myself play as if it means nothing when it means everything," said Dott.

"The worst that can happen to me is that I lose 18-0 and walk away with £125,000. I'll try my hardest but how do you stop a machine? If Ronnie can beat Anthony Hamilton 13-3 and Stephen 17-4 what chance have I got?"

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier leaguePlus updates from Everton vs Palace
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Sport
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam