Ronnie O’Sullivan moved into the last eight of the Scottish Open with a 4-1 win over Robbie Williams.
The 45-year-old produced a mixed bag of snooker. Early in the contest he looked totally transformed from earlier in the day, as he struck the ball cleanly and with confidence, but the momentum stalled in the third frame and it became a grind to reach the quarter finals, where he will face Ding Junhui who fought back to beat Jamie O'Neill 4-3.
Having described his performance against Tian Pengfei as 'terrible,' there was a doubt as to what sort of form he would bring to his meeting with Williams.
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There were positive early signs as he opened up with a break of 60, but he had to dig in - which to his credit he did to set up a meeting with either Ding Junhui or Jamie O'Neill.
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Williams began with a couple of excellent long reds but was unable to convert them into decent scoring chances, and paid the price.
O’Sullivan was out of sorts for long spells of his win over Tian earlier in the day, but he found some form towards the end of the 4-3 win - and carried the momentum into the meeting with Williams.
He took the opener with a break of 60 and began the second frame with a contribution of 38.
O’Sullivan chewed off his tip after his first-round win over Allan Taylor, and he mimicked doing the same when missing a black in the second. It did not derail his momentum and he sealed a tight frame when potting an excellent long blue.
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The third was a scratchy affair that lasted 27 minutes, with the highest break being a mere 15. At one stage, O’Sullivan muttered “I can’t play with this any more” in reference to his tip as his game descended to the levels of the early stages of his match with Tian.
Williams was able to keep his composure and take the frame to reduce the deficit to one.
World number 85 Williams had a chance in the fourth frame, but missed a black to hand the table to his opponent and the world champion hoovered up a break of 51 to restore a two-frame gap.
An excellent red handed O’Sullivan an opening in the fifth and he put together a break of 50 to get within sight of the winning post. A missed blue handed a lifeline to Williams, who won a safety battle before getting his chance. However, he broke down from blue to pink and later went in-off off the pink to allow O'Sullivan to get over the line.
‘I got away with it tonight’ – O’Sullivan on 'miracle performance'
O’Sullivan would described his win as a “miracle performance" in the Eurosport studio after the match.
"I thought I did really well considering the tip,” O’Sullivan said. “I was struggling to get any touch and feel.
Unless I was bang behind the ball, it was touch and go. I thought I provided a miracle performance. I was happy, I feel like I was playing well.
Commenting on his tip, O'Sullivan said: "It is like a bullet, it is so hard and I have no touch and feel.
I have to change it, otherwise I have no chance. I got away with it tonight.
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FOURTH ROUND RESULTS
- Mark Selby 4-1 Lyu Haotian
- Ricky Walden 4-3 Mark Allen
- Kyren Wilson 4-3 Barry Hawkins
- Jamie Jones 4-3 Eden Sharav
- Judd Trump 4-1 Mark Williams
- Stuart Bingham 3-4 Li Hang
- Jamie O'Neill 3-4 Ding Junhui
- Robbie Williams 1-4 Ronnie O'Sullivan
HOW TO WATCH THE SCOTTISH OPEN – TV & LIVE STREAMING
Each day the Eurosport app will stream ad-free bonus feeds.
We will also have rolling coverage online on the eurosport.co.uk website and our social channels.
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