Rapid Ronnie O’Sullivan races past James Cahill at the Welsh Open
Ronnie O’Sullivan raced through to the Welsh Open first round after a 4-0 whitewash of James Cahill in Newport on Tuesday.
The Rocket’s showdown with the former pro was the last of the qualifying ties heldover to the main venue at Celtic Manor Resort.
O’Sullivan – runner-up to Fan Zhengyi at the European Masters on Sunday – famously came unstuck against Cahill in the opening round of the 2019 World Championship; the Blackpool cueist stunning the then world number one with a memorable 10-8 victory.
However, the six-time World champion made certain that history did not repeat itself just under three years later.
Indeed, contributions of 90, 83 and 53 saw him wrap up victory after just 43 minutes of play.
Five-time Welsh Open champion John Higgins also reeled off four frames without reply against Soheil Vahedi – hitting breaks of 110, 102, 70 and 60 along the way. Meanwhile, Mark Allen repeated the feat against Ukrainian teenager Iulian Boiko.
Elsewhere, Judd Trump – still seeking his maiden triumph in this event – made back-to-back centuries of 108 and 120 to close out a commanding 4-1 win over Craig Steadman – the same scoreline that saw Ali Carter overcome three-time Ladies World champion Ng On Yee.
Two-time champion Neil Robertson made breaks of 119 and 101 in his 4-1 victory over Hammad Miah, while Ding Junhui – winner of this event in 2012 – hit centuries of 138, 111 and 103 as he also dropped just a single frame against Michael Holt.
Jack Lisowski saw off Chris Wakelin 4-2, but there was no joy for home favourite Mark Williams.
The two-time winner – in 1996 and 1999 – fought back from 3-1 down to force a decider against former Crucible quarter-finalist Kurt Maflin, who held his nerve with a break of 74 to prevail.
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Welsh Open Snooker 2022 Day Two Results
Tuesday March 1
Round One (Q = Qualifying Round)
Mitchell Mann 4-1 Ben Hancorn
Rory McLeod 3-4 Yuan SiJun
Robbie Williams 3-4 Hossein Vafaei
Ali Carter 4-1 Ng On Yee
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-0 James Cahill (Q)
Ben Woollaston 4-3 Liang Wenbo
Jimmy Robertson 4-3 Jamie Jones
Ding Junhui 4-1 Michael Holt
Neil Robertson 4-1 Hammad Miah
Cao Yupeng 3-4 Joe Perry
Mark Williams 3-4 Kurt Maflin
Scott Donaldson 4-0 Andrew Pagett
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 3-4 Fergal O’Brien
Judd Trump 4-1 Craig Steadman
Mark Allen 4-0 Iulian Boiko
Mark Davis 1-4 Matthew Selt
Zhang Anda L-L Mark Joyce
John Higgins 4-0 Soheil Vahedi
Jack Lisowski 4-2 Chris Wakelin