Snooker: O’Sullivan sends Selby packing in style

PUBLISHED: 15:16 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:16 14 February 2020

Ronnie O'Sullivan in action

Ronnie O'Sullivan in action

PA Wire/PA Images

Ronnie O’Sullivan was a man in a hurry as he stunned Mark Selby in the ManBetX Welsh Open quarter-finals.

O'Sullivan was in thrilling form under Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena lights, drilling ruthless breaks of 142, 95 and 85 to safely book his place in Saturday's last four.

World number four Selby did pull a frame back after the interval, but it was too little, too late as the five-time world champion powered home to a memorable victory.

But O'Sullivan, who is on the hunt for his fifth Welsh Open title, was getting far from carried away.

"I'd rather not speculate on my potential and how I can go on in this tournament, there are so many good players left in it," he said.

"I tried to just go out there and play and take the game to Mark as much as I could, and be prepared for a battle, which it always is with him, as he never makes it easy for you.

"I got off to a good start, managed to get amongst the balls and score some good breaks, and after the interval it started to go a bit itsy-bitsy.

"But I just kept sayig to myself 'as long as I can find one good frame I should be fine.'

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"I was just enjoying the match - it was a tough match, and I haven't really played players of Mark's calibre regularly so it was a test for me to see where I was."

The 36-time ranking event winner clinched a cagey first frame after finally seizing on a loose red, before surging into a 2-0 lead with a masterful second-frame break of 142.

And the onslaught continued heading into the interval, as O'Sullivan followed that up with stunning efforts of 95 and 85 to leave Selby scratching his head at the break.

The three-time world champion won a tighter fifth frame to reduce the deficit - and geed up the crowd in response - but O'Sullivan romped home to complete his 18th victory over his long-term rival.

And after enacting revenge after his Scottish Open quarter-final defeat, O'Sullivan revealed he thought he actually played better in Glasgow than he did in the Welsh capital.

"In some ways I think I played better in Scotland than I did here, so it just doesn't make sense sometimes," he added.

"That match was in the past and I don't really want to harp on about that sort of stuff - obviously today was another chance to play him again.

"I don't want to speculate on how other players get on with their stuff and how they interact with the crowd - everyone has their own way of doing stuff and that's great.

"The crowd were fantastic today and supported both players very well."

*Watch the Welsh Open live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.

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