World Number Six Zhao Xintong Reflects On Title Wins & Childhood

O’Sullivan Eases Past Lines

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Ronnie O’Sullivan, coping with the discomfort caused by a broken left ankle, beat Peter Lines 6-3 at the Coral UK Championship to reach the last 32.

By Mark Rawlinson

Four-time UK Champion O’Sullivan looked to be slightly more mobile and in less pain than he did during his opening round match last Thursday. His comfortable win over Lines set up a meeting with Ben Woollaston on Tuesday afternoon.

He had considered pulling out of the £700,000 event, but treatment from the physiotherapy team at Sheffield United FC in recent days has allowed him to move more freely and continue his hunt for the £150,000 top prize.

O’Sullivan won the first three frames with a top break of 54 before Lines pulled one back. A superb 106 put the Rocket 4-1 ahead and he extended his lead by clearing from green to black in frame six. Lines dominated the next two to close to 5-3, but a run of 74 in the ninth frame was enough to see O’Sullivan across the line.

He will be returning to Sheffield United’s medical department to further his rehabilitation before his next match.

“I’ve been down there for the last three days solid and I owe them a big thank you,” he said. “I have been getting them to put me through whatever footballers do when they break their ankles.

“They’ve put me through some stuff that I wouldn’t have dared dream of doing myself. I’m going back down for the next couple of days now for a bit more rehab and we’ll just see how it goes. At the moment I’ve not got my natural flow but I’ve got a couple of days off and we’ll have to see how it goes.

“I really want to do well in this event because it’s our second major event and I played so well in the Champion of Champions. It’s bad timing for me but all I can do is just hang in there and fight.”

Leicester-based Woollaston beat Tony Drago 6-3 with a top break of 76.

2008 UK Champion Shaun Murphy moved a step closer to his fifth title of the year with a 6-3 win over Robin Hull. The Magician, winner of last weekend’s Ruhr Open, looked in good form as he went 5-1 up with top breaks of 53, 61 and 60. Finland’s Hull battled back to 5-3, hitting a 104 break in the process, but world number seven Murphy saw out the victory thanks to a run of 63 in frame nine.

He faces Jack Lisowski in the next round after the Gloucestershire-based player beat Liang Wenbo 6-4. Lisowski flew off the mark and was 4-0 up at the interval with breaks of 96, 72 and 50 . Liang closed to 5-4 before Lisowski, the world number 39, fired in a 54 to clinch victory.

Stuart Bingham set a new high break target of 142 during his 6-3 win over Alfie Burden. The Essex-man looked in free-scoring form, also hitting runs of 91, 68 and 67. Next up for Bingham is Joel Walker, after the 20-year-old from Sheffield continued his impressive run in the tournament with a 6-3 defeat of Tom Ford.

Matt Selt beat world number 20 Xiao Guodong 6-4 with a top run of 62 and two-time UK Championship semi-finalist Joe Perry beat Mike Dunn 6-1 to make it through to the third round.