The second day of the Shanghai Masters concluded with a Ronnie O’Sullivan victory as the defending champion opened his account for the 2019/20 campaign.
The “Rocket” soared to an easy win as he easily dismantled the meagre challenge of wild card Zhang Yi.
Zhang surprised many by defeating Ali Carter on Monday but couldn’t repeat the performance as the five-time champion ran out a comprehensive 6-0 winner.
O’Sullivan played with a comfort typical of his game, taking advantage of his 25 year-old opponent’s recklessly attacking approach to assert his dominance from the outset.
Once the world number two built an initial cushion, the outcome was only ever going one way and the three-time Shanghai Masters champion concluded the affair with back-to-back century breaks.
The packed crowd lapped up the display of heavy scoring, clamouring for the star’s autograph upon the immediate climax of the clash.
The last player to beat Ronnie in Shanghai was @hitmanholt three years ago
— David Hendon (@davehendon) September 10, 2019
While the O’Sullivan victory dominated the focus for Tuesday’s action at the Regal International East Asia Hotel, plenty of other drama unfolded as well.
Kyren Wilson will be the 43 year-old’s next obstacle after the Kettering cueist edged Xiao Guodong in a drawn out affair 6-4.
Earlier, Shaun Murphy and Jack Lisowski were the first two players to book quarter-final berths in China.
The latter compiled a brace of centuries to overcome former world number one Mark Selby 6-3, somewhat reflecting the contrasting trajectories the pair’s careers have taken in the last year and a half.
Lisowski will face fellow Englishman Murphy in the next round after the “Magician” continued his resurgence this season with a fine 6-5 triumph over Mark Williams.
When Murphy, who was the runner-up in the International Championship last month, fired in breaks of 136 and 123 to lead 3-1, Williams knew he was in for a tough afternoon.
The Welshman fought back strongly to transform the deficit into a 5-4 advantage of his own and looked set to advance when he established a 57 point cushion in the tenth frame.
However, Murphy constructed an excellent 70 clearance to pinch the penultimate frame on the pink and a 56 in the next helped him to complete the job.
Elsewhere, the preliminary round reached its conclusion with the final two matches completed in the morning session.
Former runner-up Liang Wenbo delighted the home crowd with a 6-4 defeat of Stuart Bingham.
David Gilbert, meanwhile, endured little trouble as he thrashed amateur wildcard Cao Jin in a one-sided whitewash.
Gilbert’s reward is a meeting with the man of the moment, world number one and world champion Judd Trump, in the last 16 on Wednesday.