John Higgins reveals Kyren Wilson message after Crucible exit as Ronnie O'Sullivan slips to shock last eight defeat

Ronnie O’Sullivan played down his defeat after his quest for a record EIGHTH world title came to a disappointing end.

The ‘Rocket’ slipped to a shock 13-10 loss to fellow Essex potter Stuart Bingham at snooker’s spiritual home. The loss means he remains level with Stephen Hendry on seven Crucible crowns – and also missed out on retaining his world number one status after crashing out at the quarter-final stage. Playing down his defeat in the last eight, he said: "I'm actually really happy to be honest, it's just the way it goes sometimes. I feel like I'm actually getting through the ball, which is more important to me at this stage. It's been a worrying couple of years.

"It's not the win I'd have liked to have had, but that's snooker. That's the way it goes. Good luck to Stuart. Stuart played a fantastic match, he deserved his victory. I'm just pleased I competed, but there were just a few errors. But, on the whole, not too bad. Nobody has got any divine right to win any match, that's just sport."

O’Sullivan and Bingham resumed the day locked at 4-4 and they finished tied 8-8 going into the concluding session of an enthralling match. But it was Bingham who capitalised on some uncharacteristic mistakes from the fans' favourite, calmly booking his place in the semi-final stage. Reacting to his triumph, he said: “I was all over the place in that last frame. I was fearing the worst, I don't know how I've held myself together. I was just enjoying it out there, I had a little cry in my dressing room.”

The 2015 world champion pocketed breaks of 103, 67, 65, 104 and 74 to get the better of O’Sullivan in the final session. He added: "The adrenalin was pumping. It's tough [to win the tournament], because you know what comes with it. I've got to get back focused because I've got another three days here."

Meanwhile, Kyren Wilson ended John Higgins’ hopes of a fifth world title with a battling 13-8 win. The Scot trailed 9-4 at one stage but bravely rallied to make it 9-8, only for Wilson to win the next four frames in a row to dump him out. Breaks of 46, 56, 101 and 61 did the damage.

“He just overpowered me,” admitted Higgins. “I told him at the end it was the best I had seen him. The best man won.” A delighted Wilson beamed: “John’s given me a few big hidings, I’m really proud of myself. I was resilient, my mental strength was great.”