Snooker: O'Sullivan ends White fightback

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The Independent Online

Ronnie O'Sullivan won the battle of the game's great entertainers as he knocked out veteran Jimmy White to reach the last 16 of the World Open in Glasgow yesterday.

It was an encounter that brought together two icons of the sport and both men entered the arena to a deafening ovation. However, the three-time former world champion was too strong for the man who lost six finals at the Crucible, running out a 3-1 winner.

O'Sullivan opened up a 2-0 lead, with a break of 79 in the second frame, but 88 from White in the next was a reminder of his ability. When White opened up a 57-0 lead in the fourth frame it looked as though they would have to thrash it out for victory in a decider.

However, in the next frame White broke down on a break of 56 and O'Sullivan punished him with a match-clinching run of 80. The victory sets up another appetising game, with Scotland's Stephen Hendry awaiting O'Sullivan in the next round today.

"It's great to play against Jimmy because he's good to watch," O'Sullivan said. "But it's unfortunate for him that he's good to watch – it means you concentrate throughout rather than switching off.

"He started nervously but that's only to be expected when you haven't reached the latter stages of a tournament for a while," he added. "When I missed I got away with it.

"I don't like seeing Jimmy lose even if it's me that is beating him but you have to go out to try to win the match. You need to treat him like any opponent but he was always my role-model and I love him.

"When he got his rhythm and didn't look like he would miss. When he plays like that he's still a top-eight player.

"It was nice to play in front of a packed audience but I lost my rhythm a bit and it was tough. At one stage I struggled to even pot a red and black."