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O’Sullivan Survives McLeod Scare

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Defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan came from 2-0 down to beat Rory McLeod 4-2 and reach the last 32 of the BetVictor Welsh Open in Cardiff.

O’Sullivan earlier beat Vinnie Calabrese 4-1 but was made to work hard by McLeod, who missed a tricky green when he had a chance to go 3-0 up. That proved the turning point as five-time World Champion O’Sullivan recovered to 2-1 then reeled off the last three frames with top breaks of 94 and 106.

On Wednesday the Rocket meets Matthew Stevens, a 4-3 winner over Ken Doherty (click here for ticket details).

Welshman Jamie Jones raised a cheer from the home fans with a 4-3 victory over Masters champion Shaun Murphy. It was Murphy who made the better breaks with 102, 117 and 70, but Jones won the scrappy frames and got the better of a tense decider by clearing from green to pink.

“I know Shaun has been playing very well, but I thought that he can’t keep playing like that,” said Neath’s Jones, who reached the quarter-finals of the World Championship in 2012. “I felt that if I could play my game and put him under pressure, he might miss a few. In the decider I just tried to hold myself together.

“I’ll just go home and practise now and get ready for Wednesday. I play my best snooker on the big stage. I have struggled in the qualifiers but I have proved that when I play on TV I relish the occasion. I’ve just got to get there a bit more often.”

Jones now faces a Welsh derby against Mark Williams, who completed a 4-2 win over Barry Pinches after midnight.

Judd Trump took just 55 minutes to beat Mark Joyce 4-0, top scoring with 110 and 104. Neil Robertson was also on the right side of a whitewash, beating David Morris 4-0 with a top break of 72.

Ali Carter impressed in a 4-0 win over Mark King while Mark Allen made a 133 in a 4-3 win over Cao Yupeng.