Ronnie O’Sullivan crashes out of the English Open as Mark Selby survives scare
Ronnie O’Sullivan crashed out of the English Open after suffering a 4-1 defeat against world number 31 Matthew Stevens at the Marshall Arena on Thursday.
The Rocket was ousted in the third round in Milton Keynes as he suffered an early exit for the second event running this season, having been beaten by 18-year-old Aaron Hill in the Last 64 of the European Masters last month.
Meanwhile, Mark Selby recovered from 3-1 down to edge past Hossein Vafaei in a deciding frame, and was joined by the likes of Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and Kyren Wilson in the quarter-finals.
O’Sullivan had won each of his previous three meetings with Stevens, but it was the two-time World finalist who took the early initiative with breaks of 58 and 73 opening up a 2-0 lead.
The six-time Crucible champion responded with 69, but Stevens hit back with runs of 51 and 54 to move to the brink of victory.
At this point, the Welshman was enjoying a whopping 97 per cent pot success rate and produced a stunning break of 116 to seal a hugely impressive victory.
However, the 43-year-old’s joy was to be short-lived as he was later beaten 4-3 by compatriot Jak Jones, who produced a nerveless 33 clearance to snatch the decider on the pink and advance to his first-ever ranking event quarter-final.
The world number 106 will play John Higgins after the four-time Crucible king made breaks of 68, 66 and 67 in his 4-1 win over Ding Junhui.
Elsewhere, reigning champion Selby survived a huge scare against world number 39 Vafaei, who had a high break of 91 before snatching frame four on the black to establish a 3-1 advantage.
But the Jester fought back in trademark fashion with runs of 56 and 84, before edging a gruelling decider on the colours to book a date with Zhou Yuelong, who hit breaks of 115 and 124 in his comprehensive 4-0 whitewash of Andrew Higginson.
Meanwhile, world number one Trump is through to his 10th quarter-final in 16 Home Nations events after a commanding 4-1 win over Gary Wilson.
After breaks of 71 and 93 from the Ace sandwiched Wilson’s stunning 124 total clearance, the pendulum swing in his favour during frame four as he cleared with 66 from 63-0 down, before a run of 76 sealed the deal.
Trump now faces a mouth-watering showdown with Kyren Wilson and he will be aiming to avenge his defeat by the Warrior in last season’s World Championship quarter-final.
The world number six dropped just a single frame all day as he overcame Xu Si 4-1, before whitewashing Ben Woollaston with breaks of 90 and 70 along the way.
World number three Robertson is also through to the last eight after contributions of 90, 57 and 91 helped him to a 4-2 victory over Barry Hawkins.
The Australian will face another left-hander in world number 107 Robbie Williams, who recovered from losing the opening frame to beat Crucible semi-finalist Anthony McGill 4-1.
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English Open 2020 Results
Thursday October 15
97 Mark Selby 4-3 Liang Wenbo
98 Hossein Vafaei 4-2 Jamie Clarke
101 Robbie Williams 4-2 Kurt Maflin
102 Steven Hallworth 0-4 Anthony McGill
103 Barry Hawkins 4-2 Joe O’Connor
107 Alexander Ursenbacher 1-4 Ben Woollaston
108 Xu Si 1-4 Kyren Wilson
110 Ding Junhui 4-2 Tom Ford
99 David Grace 3-4 Andrew Higginson
100 Zhou Yuelong 4-2 David Lilley
105 Judd Trump 4-3 Michael Holt
106 Allan Taylor 2-4 Gary Wilson
109 John Higgins 4-1 Jimmy Robertson
111 Ben Hancorn 2-4 Jak Jones
104 Mark Davis 1-4 Neil Robertson
112 Matthew Stevens 4-1 Ronnie O’Sullivan
113 Mark Selby 4-3 Hossein Vafaei
114 Andrew Higginson 0-4 Zhou Yuelong
115 Robbie Williams 4-1 Anthony McGill
117 Judd Trump 4-1 Gary Wilson
118 Ben Woollaston 0-4 Kyren Wilson
119 John Higgins 4-1 Ding Junhui
116 Barry Hawkins 2-4 Neil Robertson
120 Jak Jones 4-3 Matthew Stevens