Ronnie O’Sullivan stormed into the Semi-Finals of the 2020 Welsh Open with a 5-1 rout of rival Mark Selby in Cardiff on Friday.
O’Sullivan, the four-time Welsh Open champion, remained on course for a record 37th career ranking title as he swept aside the 2008 champion at the Motorpoint Arena.
O’Sullivan restricted Selby to a high break of just eight in the first session as he raced into a 4-0 lead, and though ‘The Jester’ got off the mark after the interval, O’Sullivan quickly sealed the deal.
Victory sees ‘The Rocket’ through to a second ranking Semi-Final of the season and provisionally moves him into the top 16 on the one-year ranking list to bolster his Players Championship qualification hopes.
“I scored alright, Mark didn’t play his best which made it a bit more helpful for me,” O’Sullivan told BBC Wales.
“I’m a bit better now at finding my stroke a bit more and keeping my rhythm even when I’m not flowing.
“I’m committed to playing a certain way all the way through the game.
“I think I’ve had a good season, if you look at the tournaments I’ve played in, I’ve had a final, three or four quarters and a semi and I’ve won one.
“It hasn’t been that bad.
“When you haven’t been winning so much it’s nice to remind yourself you can still win, I believe I can still win.
“It’s always nice to get a bit of silverware just to clarify that.”
A 30-minute, low-scoring opening frame went the way of O’Sullivan before he hit the ground running with a sensational 142 clearance to double his lead.
The 44-year-old then followed in with successive breaks of 95 and 85 to make it 4-0, before Selby capitalised on a fluked red to get his first frame on the board.
The three-time World Champion looked to have recovered from two snookers required to clinch frame six, but a fatal error handed the frame and match on a plate to O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan now awaits the winner of the clash between defending champion Neil Robertson and Kyren Wilson in Saturday’s opening Semi-Final.