O'Sullivan, his dream of a third UK title ruined for another 12 months, did not pot a ball in the final two frames. He scored just 53 points in a truncated 57-minute final session. Stevens began modestly enough with a break of 50 but knocked in a 61 to lead 7-3, before putting together further breaks of 138 and 61.
"I have not won enough tournaments to be considered alongside the likes of Hendry and John Higgins," the 22-year-old Welshman said. "But I'm only 22 and maybe in a couple of years I will be able to prove myself. I'm certainly not frightened of the top players because I've beaten most of them."
He has now defeated O'Sullivan twice in a row, after his success at the same stage of the Regal Masters in Motherwell six weeks ago. Stevens went on to win the title - his first major victory - and is now only two victories away from breaking his duck in ranking tournaments. "I enjoy playing Ronnie because it feels like a practice match," he said. "He always goes for his shots and that suits me, because I'm naturally an attacking player."Reuse content