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Ronnie O'Sullivan through despite wobble against Liang

Date: 17 April-3 May 2010 Venue: The Crucible, Sheffield
Coverage: Live coverage each day on BBC Two, BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website (UK only), updates on BBC Radio 5 Live. Full TV schedule

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Colin Humphries

O'Sullivan break cut short by ref error (UK users only)

By Mark Ashenden
BBC Sport in Sheffield

Ronnie O'Sullivan survived a Liang Wenbo fightback to reach the last 16 of the World Championship with a 10-7 win.

Resuming at 7-2 the three-time champion stole two of the first four frames which included a 60 break cut short by a pot before the black was replaced.

After a highest break of 39 on Monday, Liang roared back with a 103 and 127 to take four in a row and pile the pressure on O'Sullivan.

The 'Rocket' clung on and now faces a resurgent Mark Williams on Saturday.

The unpredictable nature of O'Sullivan continued to plague his game and the 23-year-old Chinese, while impressing with a number of long pots, failed to take advantage of a number of chances at crucial stages in this match.

Fighting to recover from 7-2 down, he started well but having led 60-7 in the 10th his opponent stole it with a stunning 34 that included a miraculous shot from pink to yellow.

606: DEBATE
Dwayne Dibbley

It was a frame full of drama on and off the baize as referee Colin Humphries, 24 hours after warning O'Sullivan for a hand gesture, was forced to call a foul after Chigwell's finest potted a red when on 60 with the black ball still to be returned to the spot.

The break had lasted just over two minutes as Humphries struggled to keep up with the pace of O'Sullivan in full flow.

The frame was already won but it certainly did not ease the tension clearly simmering between the pair in front of the packed Crucible audience.

Liang, the 2008 world quarter-finalist, who recently earned a place in the provisional top 16 rankings, kept battling and won three in a row which included knocks of 61 and a 103.

O'Sullivan, eyeing his 23rd ranking title, looked increasingly concerned having to spend longer spells in his chair and worse was to come when Liang knocked in a 127 - the highest break of the tournament so far.

It was a very nervy finish for the 2001, 2004 and 2008 champion but he hung on with a 73 in the last to set up a mouth-watering clash with Williams three months after their epic last-frame thriller in the Masters semi-final.

"I just didn't get going and he looked quite dangerous so the pressure was getting on me a bit and I had to find something from somewhere," the 34-year-old said.

"The nerves play a big part here and unless you settle and get into your rhythm it can be tough out there.

"I just need to find some consistency."

Looking ahead to the contest with Williams he said: "It will be a tough game. he's playing well at the moment and it's a hard draw. He's the only player than can probably beat John Higgins. I could have done with an easier match really."



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see also
Final scores from the Crucible
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan warned after gesture
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Rocket fires up the Crucible
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Davis defeats King in final frame
21 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Gritty Williams sees off Campbell
19 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Hendry survives scare at Crucible
18 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Selby pleased with his play
18 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Ask the experts
29 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Higgins edges out battler Hawkins
17 Apr 10 |  Snooker
World Championship results
15 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Century breaks
17 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker
Lewd O'Sullivan comments probed
28 Mar 08 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan accepts walk-out fine
04 Jul 07 |  Snooker
Rocket goes off again
14 Dec 06 |  Snooker


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Ireland On-Line O'Sullivan shows good, bad and ugly - 18 hrs ago
Times Online OSullivan overcome by red missed - 21 hrs ago
Edinburgh Evening News Snooker: 'Old hand' Davis finds going tough but still gets through - 23 hrs ago
Daily Star Snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan gets a warning - 31 hrs ago
Yorkshire Post Liang almost finds way back until O'Sullivan recovers - 34 hrs ago


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