John Higgins has edged closer to his first ranking title in three years after racing into a big lead over Ronnie O'Sullivan in the Players Championship final.

The Wizard of Wishaw has been in magical form all week, whitewashing Jordan Brown and Mark Selby 6-0 and defeating Kyren Wilson 6-1 on his way to today's final.

And following the afternoon session of today's final in Milton Keynes, Higgins leads The Rocket 6-2, leaving him needing four frames from the evening session to clinch the trophy and pocket the £125,000 prize.

Ronnie O'Sullivan plays a shot at the UK Championship semi-final against Stuart Bingham

The 45-year-old snapped up the first few frames with ease and then racked up a break of 142 to go into the interval 4-0 to the good.

He was in sparkling form again in frame five with a break of 138 before O'Sullivan stopped the rot in the sixth frame, getting off the mark with a break of 82, but Higgins took a nervy seventh frame to bounce straight back.

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O'Sullivan, though, produced the highest break of the tournament - a 144 - in the final frame of the session to give himself hope of a comeback tonight.

The Englishman would need to win the evening session 8-3 to stop Higgins lifting the trophy.

The final is being beamed live on ITV 4 and tonight's coverage starts at 6.50pm.

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