Defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan blitzed his way into the weekend’s semi-finals of the Dafabet Champion of Champions with a stunning 6-0 demolition of Marco Fu at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.
Earlier he had beaten Stuart Bingham 4-2 in his opening match – a repeat of last year’s final which O’Sullivan won 10-8.
The five-time World Champion hit the ground running against Fu with breaks of 72 and 75 to put his opponent under immediate pressure. He took the next as well before a superb 61 clearance put him 4-0 up.
Fu was not at his best as O’Sullivan took the remaining two frames in 28 minutes to set up a meeting with Ding Junhui this Saturday.
O’Sullivan said: “Marco usually seems to play well against me, but tonight he struggled with his game. I still had to go out there and do a job and try to get the win.
“I am pleased to still be in the tournament, this is one of the better tournaments we play in. To still be in it and have the weekend to look forward to is great.
“Ding won five major ranking events last season and only Stephen Hendry had done that in the past so that is a measure of Ding’s quality. We have good games and I like playing Ding because he plays the right shots. I will look forward to it.”
For Hong Kong’s Fu it was a highly disappointing end to what was a promising day, as he took care of a lacklustre Shaun Murphy 4-1 in the afternoon to make it through to the evening match.
“It was tough for me tonight,” he said. “Ronnie played pretty well but I didn’t take my chances. I didn’t play well in either match today. This afternoon I caught Shaun on a bad day, so it was one of those matches where we both missed a lot of balls and I managed to win.
“It is a little bit frustrating. I need to spend time on my own practising. Next week will be vital to make sure I am physically and mentally ready for the UK Chamionship, because it is a big tournament everybody wants to do very well in. I need to use next week wisely and hopefully I can get my form back.”
It is the second year of the £270,000 event which sees all winners of World Snooker tournaments over the past 12 months compete over six days live on ITV4. The field is topped up via the Official World Rankings.
Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-0 Marco Fu
103-0 (75), 71-0 (71), 104-14 (37, 62), 71-66 (O’Sullivan 61, Fu 45), 105-0 (37, 60), 69-21 (32)
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Stuart Bingham
103-9 (60, 39), 13-107 (107), 47-74 (62), 102-0 (83), 115-0 (115), 112-1 (103)
Marco Fu 4-1 Shaun Murphy
26-65 (50), 56-13, 77-8 (46, 31), 97-25 (56, 32), 80-15 (80)
Group 3 Matches – Friday 7th November
Neil Robertson v Ali Carter (13.00)
Ricky Walden v Mark Allen (to follow)
(Best of 7 frames)