Ronnie O’Sullivan had to come from 2-0 down for the second consecutive match at the 19.com English Open but once again prevailed 4-3 to reach the third round.
He joins top stars including Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, Kyren Wilson and Mark Allen in a strong line up for Thursday’s action. Click here for the match schedule and here for tickets.
On Monday, O’Sullivan had to come from 2-0 and 3-2 down to beat Jamie O’Neill, and today’s meeting with China’s up-and-coming Yuan Sijun followed a similar pattern. Breaks of 79 and 104 put Yuan 2-0 ahead. Five-time World Champion O’Sullivan pulled one back with a run of 68 then Yuan went 3-1 up with a 66.
O’Sullivan then stepped up a gear and took the last three frames with 81, 84 and 87, making it six wins from six matches so far this season, having triumphed at last month’s Shanghai Masters. His next opponent is Iran’s Hossein Vafaei.
“I don’t judge whatever I do these days, I just go out and play,” said O’Sullivan. “Whatever happens this will be a fantastic week for me, if I lose I can do a bit of punditry.”
Trump’s 4-0 win over Daniel Wells was highlighted by breaks of 108 and 90. “I haven’t played well here so far, I am making errors,” admitted the world number one and World Champion. “I’m just trying to find some form, trying to get back to the way I played at the Crucible, playing with freedom and enjoying it.”
Robertson came through a tricky test against Marco Fu 4-2, compiling runs of 75, 50 and 100. “It was a tough draw and a good win – I had to prepare myself for the best Marco Fu,” said Robertson. “I am hungry to try to win a tournament as soon as I can this season.”
Stuart Bingham saw the defence of his title ended by a 4-1 defeat against China’s 17-year-old Si Jiahui. Tour rookie Si hadn’t won a professional match before this tournament, but having knocked out Soheil Vahedi in round one, he got the better of Bingham with top breaks of 85 and 68.
World number three Mark Williams was another high profile casualty as he lost 4-1 to Michael Holt, whose top break was 86. “I just need to handle the nerves because that’s what has stopped me in the past,” said Holt. “If I keep this mentality and mindset, it doesn’t matter who I play. I feel better in practice than I have done for the last couple of seasons.”
Shaun Murphy beat Sunny Akani 4-1, making a break of 133 in the fourth frame. That was the 500th century of his career; he joins Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Ding Junhui as the only players to have crossed that milestone.
Jack Lisowski made a 59 clearance in the decider to edge out Alfie Burden 4-3, while three-time Crucible king Mark Selby top scored with 77 in a 4-1 defeat of Martin O’Donnell. Mark Allen saw off Andy Lee 4-0 with a top run of 86.
Kyren Wilson beat Bai Langning 4-3 thanks to a 65 in the decider, while David Gilbert made breaks of 130, 88 and 136 in a 4-0 win over Ryan Davies.