Snooker: O'Sullivan wins despite 'laughable' Masters form

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The Independent Online

Ronnie O'Sullivan was again thoroughly underwhelmed with his performance after beating Peter Ebdon 6-3 in their Masters quarter-final at Wembley Arena yesterday afternoon.

O'Sullivan delivered a scathing appraisal of his game after fighting back from 3-0 down to beat Neil Robertson in the previous round, saying a lot of the time he was playing "substandard shots".

There appeared little to be unhappy with early on yesterday as the Essex player raced into a 4-0 lead in just over an hour, but O'Sullivan was especially unhappy with his lack of momentum as he finished the contest.

"Peter could have won the game quite easily," he told BBC 2. "I would rather be 3-0 down and hit a bit of momentum than be 3-0 up and feel like I'm stalling when I come to the table.

"Most of the time I'm missing a lot of shots and it was difficult to find confidence out there. The long game I've got at the moment is just laughable."

O'Sullivan got off to a flying start as breaks of 92, 53 and 74 in the opening three frames helped him seize control of the match. Ebdon stopped the rot as a fluked final red helped him take the fifth frame and the 2002 world champion reduced the deficit to two by edging a tight sixth, despite a 54 break from his opponent.

O'Sullivan moved to within one frame of victory only to be pegged back again by Ebdon before a 106 got him over the line.

O'Sullivan will meet Mark Williams in the semi-finals after the Welshman last night defeated Shaun Murphy 6-4. Murphy won the first frame of the match but that was as good as it got for the 2005 world champion, with a break of 76 enabling Williams to level the match.

The left-hander from Cwm went 2-1 ahead with breaks of 53 and 51 and took control of the contest, winning three of the next four frames.

Murphy reduced the deficit to two frames – 5-3 – with an excellent break of 57, and then showed yet more nerve to romp to victory in the ninth frame with a break of 97.

Williams opened the 10th with a break of 63 before stalling, and he then missed a difficult red which kept Murphy in the match.

Murphy cut the gap to 31 before missing a red, but Williams could only take limited advantage as he snookered himself on the yellow. The players traded safeties until Williams made the decisive breakthrough to advance.