World Championship: Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby made strong starts in semi-finals

Last Updated: 02/05/14 4:34pm

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Ronnie O'Sullivan: Defending world champion enjoys a warm drink during first session of his semi-final

Ronnie O'Sullivan: Defending world champion enjoys a warm drink during first session of his semi-final

Sky Bet

Englishmen Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Selby opened early leads in their respective World Championship semi-finals.

With the Crucible Theatre now down to a one-table set-up, defending champion O'Sullivan took centre stage on Friday afternoon to move 6-2 ahead against Barry Hawkins in the first session of their best-of-33 contest.

Hawkins, who lost 18-12 to O'Sullivan in last year's final, led 2-1 thanks to runs of 96 and 76 in the second and third frames respectively.

But O'Sullivan, bidding for his third straight world title and sixth in total, reeled off the next five in a row, including a 108 break in the penultimate frame.

On Friday evening, Selby, back in the semi-finals for the first time since 2010, edged 5-3 in front against Robertson.

The Leicester potter had breaks of 65, 54, 133 and 72 to take control.

World No 1 Robertson, who the previous day had become the first man to make 100 hundreds in a season during his 13-11 quarter-final victory over Judd Trump, was not at his most fluent until the final frame when made a 130 break to take his century tally for the campaign to 101.

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