Ronnie O’Sullivan and Anthony Hamilton moved into the quarter-finals of the Players Championship after recording respective 5-1 victories on Monday evening.
The pair each landed a brace of centuries as they coasted into the last eight with a minimum of fuss in Llandudno.
O’Sullivan made much lighter work of Liang Wenbo on this occasion as opposed to their previous meeting at the same stage of the Masters in January, when the Chinese missed a simple black to beat the five-time world champion.
The ‘Rocket’ eventually overcame Liang in a decider at the Alexandra Palace, finishing off with a ton, and he continued in the same fashion as he scored runs of 118, 101, 72, 71, and 65 for a resounding success.
Although he romped to a seventh Masters crown, O’Sullivan is yet to taste glory in a ranking event this season but this tournament is almost tailor made for him, with an illustrious field on home soil catering to his high demands.
In the next round there is a possible mouthwatering tie in prospect between the 41 year-old and Judd Trump, though the latter does still need to manoeuvre his way past Mark King before any such encounter materialises.
Meanwhile, German Masters champion Hamilton also impressed as he notched up a similar 5-1 scoreline over world number two Stuart Bingham.
Hamilton, 45, is riding a fierce wave of confidence having seen his form transform over the course of this campaign.
A 131 in the opening frame, which stands as the highest break of the tournament so far, set the “Sheriff” on his merry way before adding another hundred, this time a 105, in helping him to a comprehensive defeat of the recent Welsh Open winner.
Hamilton’s rise this term has been so rapid that it is foreseeable that, with no ranking points to defend next season, he could easily challenge for a place back among the top 16. – after more than a decade outside the elite bracket.
The Englishman awaits the winner of the eagerly anticipated Ding Junhui and John Higgins affair, which takes place on Wednesday.
Four other clashes are scheduled for Tuesday’s play, including Judd Trump’s date with Northern Ireland Open champion Mark King.
Elsewhere, world champion Mark Selby looks to rediscover some form as he battles with Ryan Day while an even match on paper sees Marco Fu and Anthony McGill go head-to-head.
Finally, Barry Hawkins and Neil Robertson duel in one of the matches of a distinctly high-quality first round draw.
Categories: Snooker News