Snooker: Jet lag proves an advantage for McManus

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ALAN McMANUS announced his return as a title contender by trouncing Ronnie O'Sullivan 5-1 for a place in the quarter-finals of the Thailand Masters in Bangkok yesterday.

McManus was back to his best and needed only 82 minutes to prevent O'Sullivan, the winner of last month's Regal Scottish Open, joining the select band of players to win back-to-back ranking events.

"I've not played consistently for a year or two now," said the Scot, who has failed to lift a trophy since the 1996 Thailand Masters. "When you get used to playing in semi-finals and finals it isn't much fun getting knocked out early on. There's no doubt in my mind I can still compete at the highest level."

McManus has turned jet lag to advantage by putting in hours of practice in the early hours of the day. "I played for a couple of hours from five o'clock this morning and all the practice has definitely helped."

McManus, successful in only three of his previous nine meetings with O'Sullivan, was in control through most of the match, only surrendering the initiative in the third frame. He missed a routine pink into the middle pocket and gave O'Sullivan the chance to put together a break of 65, which allowed him to reduce the deficit to 2-1.