Ronnie O’Sullivan suffered an humiliating 5-0 whitewash by China’s Tian Pengfei in the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open in Llandudno.
The world number one and four-time previous winner was crushed by the world number 49, who fired four half-centuries to reach the first ranking semi-final of his career.
O’Sullivan, whose defeat means he now cannot qualify for next week’s Players’ Championship in Wolverhampton, had problems with his cue tip throughout the tournament, but refused to make any excuses.
“There are no excuses, you have to deal with whatever is put in front of you and accept it. I tried my hardest, but every mistake I made I got punished.”
Tian stormed in front with breaks of 66, 51 and 82 putting him one frame from victory at the interval, before he returned to duly wrap up the biggest win of his career with a break of 73.
Tian, who scored back-to-back wins over John Higgins and Ali Carter on Thursday, said: “It means a lot, it’s like a dream to beat Ronnie on TV, and a lot of my family and friends in China will be watching.”
Tian will face in-form Robert Milkins in the last four after Milkins beat Mark Allen 5-1 to also maintain his hopes of landing the £150,000 European series bonus.
Despite the scoreline, Milkins’ win was anything but emphatic as both players engaged in a gruelling tussle, after which Allen described his own performance as “absolutely pitiful”.