Defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan needed just 84 minutes to beat Zhou Yuelong 6-0 and book his place in the last 16 of the Betway UK Championship.
O’Sullivan is chasing snooker history this week; if he wins the tournament he will set new records of seven UK titles and 19 Triple Crown events, surpassing the records he currently shares with Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry respectively.
He meets Jack Lisowski or Marco Fu in the fourth round in York, on either Wednesday or Thursday (tickets for both of those days available – for details click here).
Breaks of 66, 60, 68, 89 and 69 helped world number three O’Sullivan to an emphatic win over China’s Zhou.
“I felt for my opponent because it’s hard out there when things are not going for you,” said O’Sullivan, who turns 43 on Wednesday. “Zhou wants to make a statement and show the snooker world what he is capable of, because I know he is capable of wonderful things. I made a few mistakes but he didn’t punish me, I dodged a bullet.
“It is a learning curve for him, but at some point you have to stop learning and start giving out a few lessons yourself. I think he’s going to win tournaments because he’s a superb player. I have to train myself to block out my opponent and focus on what I have to do, and if I can do that I can make it difficult for whoever I play.”
Kyren Wilson reached the last 16 of this tournament for the first time with a 6-2 win over Yan Bingtao. Runs of 89, 74, 115, 68 and 74 helped Wilson set up a meeting with Barry Hawkins or Gary Wilson.
“It was a nice free flowing game today,” said world number 11 Wilson. “The tables were re-clothed last night and that has made scoring a lot easier. I’m in new territory now in this tournament. If I can reproduce the same kind of form I will be a handful for anyone.”
World number 13 Luca Brecel suffered a surprise 6-4 defeat against a player ranked 99 places below him, Lu Ning. China’s Lu reached the last 16 of a ranking event for the first time at the recent Northern Ireland Open and has now repeated the feat. He top scored with 56 today as he set up a match with Tom Ford. Leicester’s Ford beat Alan McManus 6-3 with a top break of 66.