Snooker: Reignited Rocket secures last-eight spot
Ronnie O'Sullivan last night set up a quarter-final clash with John Higgins as his resurgence continued at the Betfred.com World Championship.
O'Sullivan converted a 9-7 two-session lead over Shaun Murphy into a 13-10 triumph as he turned on the style in the Crucible. He rammed in breaks of 128 and 119 to leave Murphy stuck in his seat, and when the 2005 champion did begin to fight back he left himself too much ground to make up.
Now O'Sullivan heads into a last-eight tussle with Higgins, which has the potential to be a classic.
The meeting of the three-time former champions has come so early in the tournament because of O'Sullivan's slide in the seedings this season, caused by his failure to win a ranking event match since September prior to coming to Sheffield.
But with guidance in the past fortnight from sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters, O'Sullivan has put himself in a positive frame of mind, and although his long potting has been erratic, it does not appear to have affected the rest of his game.
There was a late stumble, O'Sullivan missing an easy red in the 21st frame and allowing Murphy to cut his lead. Murphy edged the next frame too, and when he led 57-0 in frame 13 he suddenly had all the momentum.
But Murphy missed a straightforward red and it gave O'Sullivan the chance he was waiting for.
In went a break of 71 and the pair shook hands.
Mark Selby, meanwhile, set a record for the competition with six centuries in a 13-4 victory over Steven Hendry.
World Championships, Live,
BBC2 12.30 & 7.0; Eurosport 10.0