Ronnie O'Sullivan, German Masters 2015

O’Sullivan Safely Into Quarters After Physics Defying Match-Ball

‘Rocket’ Roars On Day Four as Trump Triumphs Over Brecel!!!

He’s so good. He’s so good, and he doesn’t give a flying f*ck. And he’s so good!

Ronnie O’Sullivan was at his majestic best, AGAIN! on Day Four here in Belfast, as he ambled into the 2018 Northern Ireland Open Quarter-Finals, at the Waterfront.

Having faced little resistance from Tom Ford in this afternoon’s Third Round match, the five-time champion of the world, found himself behind for a change early on in his Fourth Round encounter with Zhou Yuelong this evening. It only seemed to ignite him. The Rocket polished off three frames in a row for a loss of only two points to the Chinese youngster, before clinching victory with an audacious black in the fifth set.

Perhaps it was the quick turnaround from the Ford game that caused the momentary lapse for O’Sullivan. If so, he should have no such worries tomorrow, as he has a full day to prepare mentally for his clash with David Gilbert.

Number 22 in the world, Gilbert, has had a strange year thus far, with September’s runner-up spot at the World Open to Mark Williams being the outlier in an early season that has seen a lot of first-round exits. Nevertheless the Derbyshire man has earned a place in the last eight in Belfast, eliminating Matthew Stevens this morning, before steamrolling Lu Ning during in the PM.

Mark Selby is sticking around for Friday. The World Number 1, coasted past Pakistan’s Hamza Akbar, before facing a stiffer test from Martin O’Donnell in the last sixteen. The Jetser from Leicester eventually made it through 4-2. He will face Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the first of tomorrow’s quarters, in what should be an interesting affair. The Bangkok man has been on fire this week, dropping only a single frame en route to tomorrow’s clash. What’s more, the 35 year-old rattled in a break of 145 this afternoon against Chris Totten, so he certainly knows where the pockets are.

The pick of tomorrow’s ties sees Judd Trump take on Ryan Day.

Day is enjoying a bit of a renaissance at present, scooping titles in Riga, Gibraltar and Romania this calendar year, and has shown a steel in his game already this week – twice facing the exit door, before snatching victory, against Zhang Anda yesterday, and Robin Hull this morning.

The Ace won’t be short of confidence, however. He dispatched Jack Lisowski, in Round Three with minimal fuss, before proving too strong for Luca Brecel this evening.

Tomorrow’s remaining quarter-final sees two somewhat surprising names battling it out for a place in the last four.

Peter Ebdon. Remember him? World Champion sixteen years ago, the 48 year-old has enjoyed a fine week in Belfast and progressed to Day Five with victories over Mark Davis and Li Hang today.

There he will meet the lowest ranked competitor still involved. Step forward Eden Sharav. The Israeli with the Scottish accent, accounted for the last of the Northern Irish hopes, when he knocked out Joe Swail this morning, before performing a miraculous escape to win the last three frames against Ali Carter this evening, to make it to the first ranking event quarter-final of his career.

Tomorrow sees the race to four format, extend to a race to five, with play starting at mid-day on the show table.

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