Ronnie O’Sullivan swept into the last eight of the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible after beating Ding Junhui in a quality session which saw breaks of 50-plus in each of the evening’s seven frames.
Resuming at 8-8, O’Sullivan made the first mistake when he missed a simple black, but seized a second chance to take the frame with a break of 87.A short yellow from Ding allowed O’Sullivan to extend his lead to two frames with a 73, before Ding pounced on another missed black by O’Sullivan to reduce the deficit with a break of 88.
O’Sullivan nudged 11-9 in front with a break of 60, and after Ding cleared to brown in the next with a break of 81, O’Sullivan struck a superb 117 to move within a frame of victory.
O’Sullivan narrowly missed back-to-back centuries but a 93 break in the next sealed up a 13-10 win and with it a last-eight clash with Mark Williams.
O’Sullivan told the BBC: “I am just glad I found a way to try and compete with my mind out there. For a while I have been going out and slapping the ball about having fun, not caring if I won or lost. Deep down I do care but treat it like a bit of fun.
“I spoke to [sport psychiatrist] Steve Peters and worked on a few things so when I went out there my mind was clear.
“It is better with the fans, of course it is. It is like playing in a morgue out there. It feels like a village at the moment, the players are much more relaxed, for the top players it can be a nightmare.”
Earlier, Kyren Wilson withstood a strong comeback from Martin Gould to win 13-9 and book his place in the quarter-finals for the fifth time. The 28-year-old, who was handed a first-round bye following the withdrawal of Anthony Hamilton.