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Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Thursday, 2 April 2009 17:17 UK

O'Sullivan reaches China quarters

Date: 30 March-5 April 2009 Venue: Beijing University Students Gymnasium
Coverage: Results and reports on the BBC Sport website

Ronnie O'Sullivan
O'Sullivan is favourite to triumph in Beijing

World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Xiao Guodong 5-3 to advance to the quarter-finals of the China Open.

World number one O'Sullivan will next play Scotland's John Higgins, who defeated Tian Pengfei 5-2.

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry edged past Ricky Walden 5-4, while fellow Scot Graeme Dott thrashed world number four Mark Selby 5-1.

Hendry will play Peter Ebdon next while Dott will play Stuart Pettman, who saw off Welsh Open champion Ali carter 5-2.

Dott and Hendry have been chasing ranking points after difficult seasons, and their respective wins should ease their concerns.

Dott, the 2006 world champion, began the season 13th in the world but arrived in China knowing he was provisionally out of the top 32 for next season.

I am still a long way from being at my best in matches but in practice I am almost there

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry

Hendry started the campaign at number six but has been battling to preserve a top-16 place.

Dott's 5-1 victory over Leicester's Selby suggests he could again be a serious contender for the China title he won in 2007, while Hendry showed his battling qualities to overcome rising star Walden, having trailed 3-1.

Walden won the Shanghai Open title on his previous visit to China, and Thursday's defeat ended his eight-match streak of victories in the country.

"I am still a long way from being at my best in matches but in practice I am almost there," said Hendry. "I need to win matches to give me confidence."

Higgins made the top break in his match against Tian by scoring 132 in the opening frame, but Tian blew his chance of a 147 after missing the 12th black.


Shaun Murphy, the 2005 world champion, demolished Australian Neil Robertson 5-1 to give him a timely boost before the World Championships in two weeks' time.

Ryan Day sent Mark King crashing out, securing a 5-2 win and a clash with Murphy in the quarter-finals, while Ebdon won a long match 5-4 against Dave Harold.

Like his next opponent Hendry, Ebdon is another former world champion whose place in the elite top 16 has looked vulnerable lately, and he was relieved to come through his gruelling test.

"It was a very tough match, it was a big pressure game for both of us," Ebdon, the 2002 world champion, said.

"For me to retain my top-16 place and for Dave to get into the top 16, so I'm delighted to win."

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see also
China Open draw
25 Mar 09 |  Snooker
China Open latest/order of play
25 Mar 09 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan battles on in Beijing
01 Apr 09 |  Snooker
Champion Maguire upset by Harold
31 Mar 09 |  Snooker
Trump loses to wildcard in China
30 Mar 09 |  Snooker
Walden stuns O'Sullivan in final
05 Oct 08 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
20 Jan 09 |  Snooker

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