Ronnie O’Sullivan aims to remain on course for a record-equalling seventh World Championship title by overcoming Stephen Maguire in the Quarter-Finals at The Crucible.
O’Sullivan has powered his way into a record 20th World Championship Quarter-Final courtesy of his 71st win in the sport’s show-piece event – another new record.
The world number one has dropped just nine frames en route to this state, dispatching 2019 semi-finalist David Gilbert 10-5 in Round One before thrashing Mark Allen 13-4.
Reigning World Grand Prix champion O’Sullivan has reached at least the Quarter-Final stage in eight of the 11 ranking events he has competed in this season and appears in a relaxed mindset as he bids to create more history.
An ever-present at The Crucible since 1993, ‘The Rocket’ boasts a crushing head-to-head record against Maguire, having won 18 of their 22 previous meetings.
He initially defeated Maguire in the opening round of the 2004 World Championship and again in a deciding frame the following year – a result which the Scot admits still “haunts” him to this day.
Having also lost out to O’Sullivan here in 2018, Maguire is targeting a first win over ‘The Rocket’ at the fourth attempt in Sheffield and the first in any competition for a decade.
Maguire is the last remaining qualifier in this year’s World Championship, having defeated Zhang Jiankang and Zhou Yuelong to reach the final stages, before knocking out Shaun Murphy and Zhao Xintong.
The former UK Champion is appearing in his seventh Crucible Quarter-Final and is bidding to reach the one-table setup for the third time.
Tour Championship winner two years ago, Maguire has dropped to 40th in the world rankings, but a long-awaited first Crucible win over the new title favourite would go some way towards reversing that slide.
The match gets under way from 10am BST on Tuesday April 26 for a maximum of eight frames, resuming from 7pm that evening before being played to a finish over the best of 25 frames from 10am on Wednesday.
Either four-time World Champion John Higgins or six-time ranking event finalist Jack Lisowski will await the winner in the Semi-Finals.
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