Snooker: Ronnie O'Sullivan produces vintage performance against Stuart Bingham in their opening eight frames

 

Ronnie O’Sullivan looked unstoppable as he produced one of snooker’s great sessions in building a 7-1 lead over Stuart Bingham at the World Championship in Sheffield on Tuesday.

On Monday he had complained of feeling “tired and jaded” after seeing off Ali Carter in the second round, despite this being his first major tournament for a year.

Pity the man who faces a refreshed O’Sullivan then, because the supposedly weary 37-year-old managed to dig out a vintage performance that saw Bingham almost whitewashed in their opening eight frames.

The defending world champion ploughed in two centuries and five more breaks of more than 50 as he took charge of the Crucible quarter-final against a shell-shocked Bingham. He led 7-0 but Bingham avoided absolute annihilation by pinching the final frame of the session.

From the outset, it was destined not to be the world No 8’s day. He played a hapless safety shot that put O’Sullivan in for a frame-winning chance and breaks of 79 and 54 got the four-time champion off to a bright start.

The fearsome scoring continued, with runs of 111, 60, 87, 133 and 98 forcing Bingham to spend much of the match in his chair.

Judd Trump staged a terrific recovery to level his quarter-final at 8-8 against the 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy, as they competed for the right to face the winner of O’Sullivan versus Bingham.

It looked to be Murphy’s match for the taking when he led 6-2 by lunchtime, and 8-3 soon after they resumed this evening following an early 91 break. But Bristolian 23-year-old Trump, runner-up as a qualifier in 2011, fought back aggressively and won five consecutive frames, making breaks of 93 and 118 in the middle session.

If picking a winner there was anybody’s guess, there was little doubting which way O’Sullivan’s match was going.

Bingham was as much a spectator as the paying visitors surrounding him for nearly the entire afternoon, and his mother Maureen, in attendance on her 55th birthday, could not have enjoyed the spectacle.

There was thankfully for Bingham’s sake the consolation of taking the eighth frame, to ensure he avoided the dreaded prospect of the Crucible’s first 13-0 defeat. Beyond that there was scant cause for any cheer for the man who was outscored by 733 points to 199.

O’Sullivan has given himself a realistic chance to finish the match in two sessions now, with a further eight frames scheduled for Wednesday morning’s session and nine pencilled in for the evening.

Considering he was playing a man in the form of his life, who posted crushing wins over Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and Trump on his way to winning the Premier League title this season, it was some statement from O’Sullivan.

Former world champion Ken Doherty said on the BBC: “He was fantastic. It’s effortless and that’s the beauty of his talent.” Six-time winner Steve Davis suggested O’Sullivan made it “look as easy as shelling peas”.

Chester’s Ricky Walden made a bright start to his quarter-final against Welsh qualifier Michael White as he moved 6-2 in front. White is appearing at his first World Championship and has already seen off two-time champion Mark Williams and eccentric Thai player Dechewat Poomjaeng.

But the 21-year-old found it tough going against first-time Crucible quarter-finalist Walden and made a best break of only 40. Walden finished the session in style with a run of 113.

Kent’s Barry Hawkins savoured his first experience of a World Championship quarter-final as he built a 9-7 lead against China’s Ding Junhui. Leading 5-3 from their opening session, world No 14 Hawkins, 33, increased that to 8-4 by the mid-session interval.

No doubt aware that former UK and Masters champion Ding had produced an inspired middle session in seeing off Mark King in the second round, Hawkins managed to keep the pressure on his 26-year-old opponent, who lives in Sheffield, ahead of Wednesday’s concluding session. Ding finished his evening’s work in style with a break of 72 to stay within touching distance.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Arts and Entertainment
TV
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Graham Norton said Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to settle was ‘moronic’
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths
Life and Style
life
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
News
Amazon misled consumers about subscription fees, the ASA has ruled
news
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn