O’Sullivan sets up Ding showdown at UK Championship
Ronnie O’Sullivan booked a fourth-round showdown with Ding Junhui after seeing off Noppon Saengkham at the UK Championship.
And the defending champion in York safely reached the fourth round with a 6-2 victory over world No 32 Saengkham.
O’Sullivan took the opener before losing his first frame of the tournament as Saengkham levelled up.
Saengkham was gutsy with his shot-choices but ultimately paid the price as O’Sullivan led 3-1 at the interval.
O’Sullivan moved within a frame of victory at 5-2 thanks to a break of 97, and closed out the match when winning a tight eighth frame.
Speaking after his victory, O'Sullivan told Eurosport:
" I'm pleased to get through. The table was playing really hard and tight and heavy, it was hard to control the white, but I thought I managed it pretty well."
"Flukes are all part of the game," O'Sullivan added, after a couple of lucky breaks for Saengkham. "He's the king of the flukes today, I want to buy those flukes off of him."
In the other featured match of the afternoon session, Ding edged out Ali Carter 6-4, taking the last frame with a break of a match-high of 116 to secure victory.
Mark Selby inched past Martin O'Donnell in a slow-tempo match in the evening session, while Yan Bingtao made it another disappointing tournament for the frustratingly talented Jack Lisowski.
In-form Gary Wilson looks a dangerous proposition, with his 6-1 win over Joe Perry being the most convincing of the day at the Barbican.
Michael White 6-5 Mark Davis
Mark Selby 6-3 Martin O'Donnell
Yan Bingtao 6-3 Jack Lizowski
Gary Wilson 6-1 Joe Perry
Liang Wenbo 6-4 Eden Sharav
Ding Junhui 6-4 Ali Carter
Stephen Maguire 6-2 Graeme Dott
Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-2 Noppon Saengkham