Ronnie O’Sullivan held off an Anthony Hamilton fightback to win 4-3 and secure his spot in the last 16 of the BetVictor English Open in Milton Keynes.
The Rocket is aiming for a first title since the 2020 World Championship this week, having lost five finals last season. Next up he faces Welshman Jamie Clarke in the last 16 this evening. Clarke defeated Thai number one Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 4-1 this afternoon.
O’Sullivan opened up with breaks of 62 and 61 to take a 2-0 lead over Hamilton. The Sheriff of Pottingham then got his first frame on the board, before O’Sullivan moved one from victory at 3-1.
Hamilton refused to wilt and battled back into contention with breaks of 75 and 71 to force a decider. He then appeared to play a good safety at the beginning of the final frame, before O’Sullivan deposited an audacious long range red. He made 119 from it and secured his progression.
World number 115 Fraser Patrick secured a huge 4-2 win over 2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy to reach the last 16 of a ranking event for the first time in his career. He now faces Luca Brecel.
“I’m delighted. That is probably my best win, considering the stage of the tournament,” said Scotland’s Patrick. “To beat someone like Shaun is great. I beat Stuart Bingham last week to qualify for the European Masters, so that has given me confidence coming into this.”
World Champion Mark Selby eased through to the last 16 with a 4-1 win over close friend Chris Wakelin. Next up he faces an intriguing clash with Masters champion Yan Bingtao, who defeated David Gilbert 4-2.