John Higgins booked his place in the final of the Scottish Open with a resounding 6-1 win over Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Higgins was in ruthless form at the Venue Cymru, Llandudno, where he cruised to a fifth win in six meetings with his old rival in 2021.
Scotland’s four-time world champion, who has never won the Scottish title, rattled in breaks of 76 and 125 to race into a 3-0 lead.
O’Sullivan stopped the rot with the aid of an 86 break but Higgins continued his impressive form with breaks of 74 and 98 to run out a comfortable winner.
“I did get a bit of a run of the ball but you take them because sometimes it goes against you,” Higgins said on Eurosport.
Higgins, who has 31 ranking titles to his name, had battled back from 3-0 down to beat David Gilbert 5-3 in the quarter-finals and said that fightback helped inspire Saturday’s performance.
“I think it helped yesterday, the way I came back against Dave,” he said. “I felt I was beginning to hit through the ball a lot better and I just took that into today’s game.
“Even when I lost the fourth frame, I was disappointed but I was thinking to myself it may be better to be 3-1 than 4-0 because, if you go 4-0 up, you’re thinking ‘it’s mine to lose now’, whereas at 3-1 I was still focused, it’s still a 50-50 game.”
Brecel, 26, the UK Championship runner-up from Belgium, beat Anthony McGill 6-1 in the second semi-final to remain on course for the Stephen Hendry Trophy and a top prize of £70,000.
McGill trailed 5-0 but produced a break of 90 in the sixth frame to avoid a whitewash.
Higgins was runner-up in the inaugural year of the Scottish Open in 2016, losing 9-4 to Marco Fu in the final.