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O’Sullivan And Robertson Surge Ahead

Ronnie O'Sullivan

O’Sullivan produced some wonderful break-building

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson both closed in on the quarter-finals of the Betfred World Championship by building commanding  leads at the Crucible today.

Two of the sport’s powerhouses showed imperious form as they dominated the second session of their last 16 clashes. O’Sullivan leads Matthew Stevens 12-4 and needs one more frame to earn a match with Stuart Bingham, while Robertson went 11-5 up on Ali Carter and within two frames of a meeting with Barry Hawkins.

Five-time champion O’Sullivan is aiming for his third title in four years, having lifted the trophy in 2012 and 2013 and finished runner-up to Mark Selby 12 months ago.

Leading 5-3 after the first session, O’Sullivan took the first two frames today with a top break of 62, then Stevens pulled one back with a 55. But the Welshman was unable to battle his way back into the contest as O’Sullivan pulled away.

Breaks of 110 and 139 put O’Sullivan 9-4 ahead, and he added a scrappy 14th frame before making an excellent 42 clearance for 11-4. And a run of 61 in the last of the session brought him to the brink of victory.

Carter trailed 6-2 after the first session and won the opening frame today thanks to a break of 61 (Tom Hiscott writes).

But Robertson, the 2010 champion, then reeled off five straight frames for the second time in the match, to go 11-3 ahead. Australia’s Robertson registered his third century break of the contest with a 119 in frame 12 during his spell of dominance, as well as runs of 72 and 71.

There was late resistance from Carter as he won the final two frames of the session. A run of 70 made it 11-4, and in the last of the day he potted the final blue to a centre pocket after Robertson had rattled it in a top corner.

Both matches resume on Monday at 7pm.

Neil Robertson

Robertson is aiming to reach the quarter-finals for the sixth time