Snooker: O'Sullivan sets up Maguire meeting at UK Championships
PUBLISHED: 06:44 09 December 2017 | UPDATED: 06:44 09 December 2017
Ronnie O'Sullivan is adamant Stephen Maguire has more trophies in his locker as the pair prepare to do battle in the Betway UK Championship semi-finals.
Maguire stunned The Rocket in the second round en route to his sole UK title in 2004, causing O’Sullivan to claim the Scot would dominate for a decade.
Just three more ranking titles have followed for Maguire but O’Sullivan is expecting him to pick up more silverware in the near future, with the victor of this clash taking their place in Sunday’s final at the York Barbican.
He said: “Stephen is one of the proper good guys on the circuit. Everybody likes him and I look forward to playing him.
“If I win – great, if not I’ll be rooting for him in the final because he’s too good not to get his hands on more silverware.
“I love him. He’s a top guy. If he batters me I’ll still be his mate.”
O’Sullivan defeated Martin Gould in the last-eight to set up the contest with Maguire, rattling off back-to-back century breaks in a composed 6-3 triumph.
Gould found himself 5-0 down before taking three consecutive frames to make the scoreline respectable.
But the Rocket was quick to defend his beaten opponent and even compared his style of play to former world champion John Higgins.
“I made hard work of it in the end but I have to give credit to Martin because he put me under pressure,” he added.
“I love watching him play, I think he’s a beautiful player to watch. He has great cue ball control, for me I don’t know how he’s not won more tournaments.
“He’s got such a lovely way of playing the game. He’s like a John Higgins. They do everything efficiently. I like watching and playing with him.
“We love how he does things. He had some serious bad luck. It was like all the snooker gods were against him but he went about things in the right way.”
*Watch LIVE coverage of the UK Championship on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with Colin Murray and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.