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
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Life and Style
Men with beards rejoice: Your beard probably doesn't harbour faeces-like bacteria
health
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before