Neil Robertson produced a sparkling performance to dispatch Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-1 and reach the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in Preston.
The Australian had lost the previous three meetings between the pair and was seeking revenge for his recent defeat at the Masters.
The Thunder from Down Under stamped his authority from the off, making breaks of 80, 70 and 43, to storm to a 3-0 advantage. That took him within one frame of inflicting a first whitewash defeat on O’Sullivan in a full ranking event since the 2006 China Open against James Wattana.
However, the five-time World Champion managed to get on the scoreboard, winning the fourth frame on the final pink. Robertson wasn’t to be denied and charged to the line with a break of 83 to secure victory.
“I worked really hard on the practice table yesterday evening and put a lot of things right,” said Robertson. “I was full of confidence, knowing in myself that I was going to be playing very well. That was probably one of the better performances I’ve had against Ronnie. There wasn’t a lot he could have done about the result. My safety was fantastic and long potting very good. It was probably the performance of the season so far for me.”
Barry Hawkins recorded an impressive 4-1 defeat of Judd Trump and will face Robertson this evening in the quarter-finals.
The Hawk displayed relentless break building power as he breezed past the 2015 World Grand Prix winner Trump. He had runs of 65, 86, 73 and 72 on his way to the victory and will now look forward to another big name clash tonight.
Liang Wenbo edged past Mark Allen 4-3 in a high quality last 16 encounter.
Liang was leading 2-1 when he and the Pistol began to trade a series of big breaks. Allen made 95 to restore parity, but was immediately on the back foot once more when Liang made a contribution of 85 in the next. Allen ensured a decider with runs of 67 and 61 in the sixth frame.
Both players spurned opportunities to clinch the match. However, it was Liang who made it through to secure a last eight clash with Joe Perry this evening.
Perry came through another 4-3 nerve jangler with Martin Gould. The Gentleman trailed 2-0, but three consecutive frames saw him turn the match on it’s head to lead 3-2. Gould levelled but it was Perry who came through to reach the last eight.