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O’Sullivan Battles To Wells Win

RonnieRonnie O’Sullivan reached the last 32 of the European Masters with a 4-0 whitewash of Daniel Wells in Bucharest, despite making just one break over 50 in a patchy performance.

O’Sullivan believes he is gradually regaining sharpness, having missed the first four tournaments of the season, and will hope to gather momentum when he faces David Gilbert in the next round on Tuesday evening.

A more ruthless opponent might have knocked him out tonight, but world number 69 Wells was unable to take advantage of the chances that came his way.

Welshman Wells had a chance to win the opening frame but missed the final green into a baulk corner. O’Sullivan got the better of a safety exchange on the brown and went 1-0 ahead. In frame two, Wells failed to gain position on the last red after a break of 48, and again it was O’Sullivan who won the safety battle and capitalised to double his lead.

A run of 51 helped put the Rocket 3-0 up and he built a lead of 41 points in the next. Wells had an opportunity to counter but missed the pink to a centre pocket on 28 with three reds left. Five-time World Champion O’Sullivan made 34 to settle the tie.

“I knew Daniel was going to be up for it and I just had to stay professional and stay patient,” said O’Sullivan. “The first couple of frames could have gone either way and they were the type of frames I wasn’t really competing in at the Shanghai Masters. I feel a bit more settled and I need as many matches as I can get, I feel much better this week.

“I’ve been playing a lot of exhibitions but that is different conditions, different tables and opponents who can’t make 30 or 40. So you get a bit lazy in your shot selection and you have to get that out of your game for the tournaments. It’s an amazing venue here, the fans love their snooker and hopefully the top players can treat them to some good matches.”

SelbyWorld Champion Mark Selby took just 65 minutes to score a 4-0 win over Fergal O’Brien. The world number one is seeking his second ranking title of the season having captured the Paul Hunter Classic. Leicester’s Selby trailed 45-0 in the first frame, but from that point he conceded just 14 points as he reeled off breaks of 88, 50, 71 and 109 in winning four frames in a row. He will now meet Dominic Dale.

Scotland’s 22-year-old Rhys Clark reached the last 16 of a ranking event for the first time with a 4-1 defeat of David Grace. Breaks of 101, 61, 50 and 52 helped Clark set up a match with Neil Robertson.