Ricky Walden pulled off a deciding frame defeat of Ronnie O’Sullivan to reach the Quarter-Finals of the 2022 Welsh Open on Thursday.
Three-time ranking event winner Walden continued his impressive resurgence this season by ending O’Sullivan’s latest quest for a fifth Welsh Open title.
Walden had begun the day with a 4-2 victory over 2021 Masters Champion Yan Bingtao in the Last 32 and continued his fine run of form by edging out the world number two later in the evening.
Walden took the opening frame with a break of 54, and after O’Sullivan had made a 76 break to draw level, the Cheshire cueist regained the lead at 2-1 despite a half century from his opponent in frame three.
A magnificent clearance of 136 saw Walden extend his lead, but only for O’Sullivan to hit back with breaks of 88 and 85 to force a decider.
Walden, though, quashed O’Sullivan’s hopes of completing the comeback by producing a timely break of 83 in the deciding frame to make it three Quarter-Final appearances in his last four ranking events.
O’Sullivan had earlier defeated 2012 Welsh Open champion Ding Junhui 4-2 in the Last 32 despite making only one 50-plus break.
Walden will face Joe Perry in Friday’s Quarter-Finals after the Cambridge ace thrashed former world finalist Kyren Wilson 4-1 with breaks of 73, 71, 126 and 138 along the way.
Judd Trump remained in contention for a first Welsh Open title after a commanding 4-1 win over Jimmy Robertson with two centuries to his name.
The world number three, who is yet to win a ranking title this season, will face Masters Champion Neil Robertson in the Last Eight after the Australian saw off Ben Woollaston 4-1 with a top break of 89.
Jack Lisowski followed up a 4-2 win over Elliot Slessor with a 4-0 whitewash of Michael White to book his place in a second ranking Quarter-Final of the season.
Lisowski will now take on Ali Carter on Friday after the 2009 champion dispatched Scott Donaldson 4-2 with breaks of 69, 78 and 77.
Shoot Out champion Hossein Vafaei is through to his second ranking Quarter-Final of the season after following up a 4-0 rout of Jak Jones with a narrow 4-3 win over another Welshman in Ryan Day.
Day had earlier enjoyed a 4-0 whitewash of 2020 champion Shaun Murphy in the Third Round at the Celtic Manor Resort.
Iran’s Vafaei will meet Zhang Anda in the Quarter-Finals after the Chinese cueist knocked out two-time world finalist Matthew Stevens 4-2 with a high break of 108.
Welsh Open Snooker 2022 Day Four Results
Thursday March 3
Hossein Vafaei 4-0 Jak Jones
Ryan Day 4-0 Shaun Murphy
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Ding Junhui
Yan Bingtao 2-4 Ricky Walden
Barry Hawkins 3-4 Ben Woollaston
Matthew Selt 3-4 Kyren Wilson
Jack Lisowski 4-2 Elliot Slessor
Michael White 4-1 Liam Highfield
Matthew Stevens 2-4 Zhang Anda
Hossein Vafaei 4-3 Ryan Day
Judd Trump 4-1 Jimmy Robertson
Ali Carter 4-2 Scott Donaldson
Neil Robertson 4-1 Ben Woollaston
Ronnie O’Sullivan 3-4 Ricky Walden
Joe Perry 4-1 Kyren Wilson
Jack Lisowski 4-0 Michael White