Ronnie O’Sullivan finally got the better of Elliot Slessor as he won 4-1 to reach the third round of the Northern Ireland Open.
World No 58 Slessor had won both previous meetings with O’Sullivan, but couldn’t make it three in a row despite taking the opening frame.
O’Sullivan finished with breaks of 76, 78 and 97 to clinch victory and set up a meeting with Matthew Stevens, who beat him 4-1 at the English Open last month.
O'Sullivan called the win over Slessor "one of the best" of his career.
"He obviously plays well against me and the way he started off he was just cruising round the table," he said in the Eurosport studio.
Watch 'immaculate' O'Sullivan seal victory over Slessor
"I had to hopefully get a chance and he was unlucky not to go 2-0 up, left the red in the jaws, and I was able to steal one and get in the game. Sometimes beating someone like Elliot Slessor in this tournament in that round is better than beating someone like [Mark] Selby in the semi-finals of the Worlds because he is up for none, you have everything to lose. Everyone on the circuit knows how good Elliot is and he can play."
Slessor started confidently at the Marshall Arena with a break of 71 seeing him take the opening frame of the match.
O’Sullivan levelled in a closely-fought second frame, but only after Slessor played a poor positional shot to get onto the final red when he looked to have a chance of stealing the frame from 64-17 down.
'It was ten minutes of perfection really' - Judd Trump on his phenomenal 147 maximum
The third frame saw Slessor punished for a missed brown into the middle, with O’Sullivan racking up a break of 76 to move ahead in the match.
Slessor ran out of position at 25-0 ahead in frame four and saw O’Sullivan knock in a red along the cushion to start a break of 78 that earned him a third frame in a row.
The Rocket then finished in style as a break of 97 saw him ease into the third round.
Earlier in the day, Judd Trump made the fifth 147 break of his career as he breezed into the third round with a 4-0 win over Yang Gao.
Second round results and schedule
Wednesday 18 November
- Kyren Wilson 4-3 Ken Doherty
- Alexander Ursenbacher 1-4 Stephen Maguire
- Luca Brecel 4-1 Rod Lawler
- Barry Pinches 4-3 Anthony McGill
- Ashley Carty 1-4 Andy Hicks
- Rory McLeod 1-4 Martin Gould
- Matthew Selt 4-0 Stuart Carrington
- Zak Surety 1-4 Zhao Xintong
- Noppon Saengkham 4-3 Zhou Yuelong
- David Grace 4-3 Sam Craigie
- Xu Si 3-4 Scott Donaldson
- Michael Holt 4-3 Louis Heathcote
- Judd Trump 4-0 Yang Gao
- Ding Junhui 4-1 Lu Ning
- Barry Hawkins 3-4 Michael White
- Fergal O'Brien 1-4 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
- Mark Davis 2-4 Matthew Stevens
- Elliot Slessor 1-4 Ronnie O'Sullivan
- Nigel Bond 1-4 Yan Bingtao
- Ali Carter 4-1 Xiao Guodong
- Allan Taylor 4-1 Joe Perry
- Mark Williams 2-4 Dominic Dale
- Jianbo Zhao 4-2 Stuart Bingham
- Wenbo Liang 4-1 Jak Jones
- Jackson Page 0-4 Kurt Maflin
- Tom Ford 2-4 Yuan SiJun
- Neil Robertson 2-4 Ben Woollaston
- Lukas Kleckers 4-0 Mark Selby
- Sunny Akani - Igor Figueiredo
- James Cahill - Ryan Day
- Robert Milkins - Mark Allen
- John Higgins 4-2 Patrick Wallace