Mei Xiwen clinched the biggest win of his career to date by defeating Ronnie O’Sullivan in the Last 16 of the English Open on Thursday, while Tom Ford made his second maximum break of the season to see off Shaun Murphy.
Mei, the world number 70 had not been beyond the Last 16 stage of a ranking event in three seasons as a professional, but held his nerve to close out a memorable upset against the five-time World Champion.
O’Sullivan, appearing in only his second tournament of the season, looked to be heading for the Last Eight when he led 3-2 with the aid of a 134 clearance, but only for the Chinese underdog to claim the final two frames for victory.
He will now face Mark Selby in Friday’s Quarter-Finals at the K2 Centre in Crawley after the three-time World Champion defied a break of 128 to seal a commanding 4-1 win over Xiao Guodong.
Selby’s fellow Leicester cueist Ford continued his eye-catching start to the season by compiling a second 147 of the campaign in the deciding frame of his clash against Murphy.
Ford, who achieved the perfect frame in June’s International Championship Qualifiers, repeated the feat to seal victory in dream fashion and reach his second ranking Quarter-Final of the season.
It is Ford’s fifth career maximum break and will secure him the £5,000 high break bonus providing no other player matches the feat for the remainder of the tournament.
A total of 20 maximum breaks must be made across the season if the £1 million prize money bonus is to be shared.
“I made the first as well so just 18 more to go then hopefully Barry [Hearn] will put his hand in his pocket!” joked Ford.
“I don’t think there’s going to be 20 this season.
“Even from the first red, I knew if I missed anything then the balls were nicely open, all I wanted to do was go up for a blue but I kept landing on a black.
“I just tried to keep it together and once I got past 80 I knew that was the match won and I just had to really concentrate on trying to get the max.
“I know what Ronnie’s comment was and I do totally agree with him but it’s also nice for the fans if somebody goes get one.”
Elsewhere, Mark Allen blitzed past Barry Hawkins in consecutive frames with breaks of 60, 89, 100 and 129, while Tian Pengfei ended Si Jiahui’s landmark run with a 4-0 whitewash, rounded off by a break of 124.
Ricky Walden also made a 124 in his 4-2 victory over Shoot-Out champion Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, while World Championship semi-finalist David Gilbert was pegged back from 3-0 up to 3-3 by Zhao Xintong but produced a timely break of 55 in the decider to prevail.
Lee Walker, who knocked out world number one and World Champion Judd Trump in the Last 32 earlier in the day, followed up that impressive scalp with a deciding frame win over Crucible semi-finalist Gary Wilson with a high break of 93.
English Open 2019 Results
Thursday October 17
Si Jiahui 0-4 Tian Pengfei
Tom Ford 4-3 Shaun Murphy – *Ford makes a 147 break*
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 2-4 Ricky Walden
Ronnie O’Sullivan 3-4 Mei Xi Wen
Xiao Guodong 1-4 Mark Selby
Zhao Xintong 3-4 David Gilbert
Mark Allen 4-0 Barry Hawkins
Gary Wilson 3-4 Lee Walker