Ronnie O’Sullivan took just 53 minutes to beat Robert Milkins 4-0 and reach the last 16 of the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix in Preston.
O’Sullivan, seeking his fourth ranking title of the season having won the English Open, Shanghai Masters and UK Championship, eased into the second round at the Guild Hall where he will face Yan Bingtao. That match will be on Wednesday evening and tickets are still available – click here for details.
Milkins had chances in the opening frame tonight but O’Sullivan eventually took it by clearing from blue to black, then he knocked in a break of 119 for 2-0. Milkins led 51-1 in frame three but couldn’t pull one back as his opponent fought back to win it by clearing from green to black. And world number two O’Sullivan sealed victory in the fourth with a run of 73.
China’s Yan scored an impressive 4-2 win over Martin Gould, in a match between the players ranked 16th and 17th on the one-year list. That result could prove vital in terms of the race to qualify for next month’s Ladbrokes Players Championship, with only the top 16 to go through to Llandudno.
Gould took two of the first three frames with breaks of 130 and 61 before up-and-coming Yan, who turned 18 last week, won the last three with top runs of 89 and 122.
Michael Georgiou carried the confidence he gained from winning last week’s Coral Shoot Out into his match with Luca Brecel and won 4-0. Runs of 53 and 71 helped Georgiou set up a last 16 match with Stephen Maguire or Li Hang.
“If someone had told me ten days ago where I would be now, I would have laughed,” said world number 59 Georgiou, who qualified for Preston by winning the Shoot Out. “I’m just going to continue doing what I’m doing and see where it goes.
“It has been business as usual this week in terms of my practice, I put in as many hours as I could. Winning the Shoot Out is massive for me mentally because I don’t have to worry about dropping off the tour any more. I’m really enjoying my snooker now and going for my shots without hesitating. The crowd was fantastic tonight, I loved every moment.”
In the last match to finish on day one, Jack Lisowski edged out Ryan Day 4-3 with a top break of 93. Lisowski, enjoying the best season of his career so far, trailed 3-2 but won a 45-minute sixth frame on the colours then took the decider 74-16. He now meets Shaun Murphy or Ricky Walden.