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Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 16:43 UK

Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Mark Williams to make quarters

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.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Rapid Ronnie century sees off Williams challenge (UK users only)

Ronnie O'Sullivan surged into the World Championship quarter-finals with a majestic 13-10 win over Mark Williams.

Resuming at 8-8, the pair shared the opening two frames before "the Rocket" stepped up a gear and took the next two, helped by a stunning break of 104.

Two-time champion Williams hit back with a 122, but O'Sullivan, eyeing a fourth title, hit 111 and 106 to win.

O'Sullivan will face Mark Selby, who beat Stephen Hendry 13-5, while Shaun Murphy and Ali Carter also progressed.

But when asked after the match about his form, O'Sullivan did not take kindly to the suggestion that he is his own harshest critic.

"If someone says that to me again I'm going to stop the interview, because I'm fed up of hearing that," he told BBC Sport's Rob Walker.

O'Sullivan nonplussed after 'acceptable' win

"When you play poor snooker, you play poor snooker, so I'm not my own harshest critic - it's just when you play pathetic shots you don't want to play.

"I don't listen to what everyone keeps saying that I'm my harshest critic because you don't know what you're talking about."

Selby and Hendry resumed at 4-4 on Monday, and after building up a 11-5 lead, world number seven Selby wasted little time in the evening session to secure a comfortable victory over the seven-time world champion.

The 2005 world champion Murphy won five of the evening's seven frames to beat China's great hope Ding Junhui 13-10, while Carter came through a nervy battle to see off Joe Perry 13-11.

After O'Sullivan and Williams shared 16 enthralling frames on Sunday, the packed Crucible arena looked set for a repeat of the last-frame drama of their Masters semi-final three months ago.

O'Sullivan came out on top 6-5 in January, but apart from brief glimpses of magic from Williams, the world number one rarely looked in danger on Monday afternoon.

Having failed to make a century in the first two sessions, O'Sullivan, who last won the title in 2008, fired in three breaks over 100 in seven frames to leave the Welshman largely rooted to his chair.

There are times where I am awful in practice. I don't think my game is suited to winning this title

Ronnie O'Sullivan

"I managed to put a few decent frames together for a change," O'Sullivan said.

"I knew I needed to find form but out of panic and desperation I got the cue through to pot a few balls and find a bit of form.

"It was nice to come through a tough match against a quality player."

A 53 break was enough for O'Sullivan to take the day's opener and the pair continued to exchange blows as Williams knocked in a 53 to level the match once again.

O'Sullivan, so inconsistent in his first-round win against Liang Wenbo, was slowly beginning to fire and he soon rattled in a 104 to sneak ahead.

The lead was soon up to two frames as he cleared up after Williams missed a cut on the red, but the Welshman sniffed an unlikely comeback as he produced his own fireworks that included an audacious double on the black to conclude a 122 break.

O'Sullivan looked in no mood to relinquish his lead, though, and rattled in two centuries to bring the crowd to their feet, leaving Williams to wave goodbye to the Crucible arena for another year.

Shaun Murphy

Murphy strikes back to beat Ding

Despite being the favourite, O'Sullivan played down his chances of another crown and said: "There are times where I am awful in practice, I can't pot a ball but out of desperation on the match table, I am pulling it off.

"I don't think my game is suited to winning this title."

Williams, who was the world champion in 2000 and 2003, believes O'Sullivan is more than capable of picking up a fourth world title.

"What can you do? You have to sit there and say, 'Well done'," Williams added. "Everything about his game is spot on.

"The only person who can beat him in this World Championship is himself. You've got to take your hat off to him. Some of the clearances and shots he was pulling off was outstanding."

Ding, UK champion at the start of the season, started the day leading 5-3 but breaks of 76 and 100 got Murphy back on level terms and a 64 and 55 set up the evening on 8-8.

The Chinese number one struggled for consistency and despite a 137 to edge ahead 10-9, Murphy stormed back with four consecutive frames and completed the victory with a brilliant 128.

Trailing 6-10 overnight, Perry won the first five frames, but world number five Carter dug deep with breaks of 104 and 82 before taking a scrappy 24th frame to set up a quarter-final with Murphy.

Carter said: "At 11-10, I was looking adversity in the face but I pulled it out of the bag."

Hendry was unable to match his feats from the first round when he fought back against Zhang Anda as Selby quickly grabbed the two frames needed to make the last eight.

On facing O'Sullivan three months after coming back to win 10-9 in the Masters final, Selby told BBC Sport: "To play him again is a great challenge. It's a great feeling. He is someone I have looked up since I was a kid."

Hendry lost the day's opening four frames to trail 4-8, with Selby knocking in breaks of 96 and 62, and the misery continued as the Scotsman won just one of the morning's last four frames against the Masters champion.

When asked if retirement was on his mind, the 41-year-old said: "Right now it is. But I'm sure I'll be back next year."



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see also
Final scores from the Crucible
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Downcast Hendry will soldier on
26 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Davis plays down Crucible chances
24 Apr 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan through despite wobble
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan warned after gesture
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Rocket fires up the Crucible
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Ask the experts
29 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


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