This morning, Ronnie swiftly won the two frames he needed to book his place in the semi-finals. He won his QF match by 13-5:
O’Sullivan Stays On Target For Magnificent Seventh
Ronnie O’Sullivan moved within two wins of a landmark seventh Crucible crown as he completed a 13-5 hammering of Stephen Maguire in the quarter-finals of the Betfred World Championship.
The world number one is yet to face a serious challenge in the tournament so far, having beaten David Gilbert 10-5, Mark Allen 13-4 and now Maguire by another one-sided scoreline. He is through to a record 13th semi-final in Sheffield – one ahead of Stephen Hendry’s tally of 12.
But the only record which will motivate O’Sullivan is seven world titles, a mark which Hendry has held since 1999. If 46-year-old O’Sullivan can reach the same total then his status as snooker’s greatest ever player will be beyond question. His next test will be a match with either Jack Lisowski or old adversary John Higgins over a possible 33 frames on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. O’Sullivan has played Higgins three times this season and lost all three.
Chigwell’s O’Sullivan has now won 19 of his 23 meetings with Maguire, including all four at the Crucible. This contest was competitive up until 6-4, then O’Sullivan pulled away to take seven of the last eight frames. The Rocket has made seven centuries and 21 more breaks over 50 in the tournament so far.
Resuming this morning with an 11-5 lead, O’Sullivan needed just 19 minutes to wrap up the match, making breaks of 71 and 126.
“I just played the balls, played the table and tried to be as competitive as I could,” said O’Sullivan, whose only title so far this season came at the World Grand Prix in December. “It does not bother me how many frames I play, I just know I have got to keep going.”
World number 40 Maguire, who had to win two qualifying matches just to make it to the Crucible, said: “Things will only get tougher in the next few matches for Ronnie, the rest of the boys in the tournament are all great players.
“I’ll be keeping an eye on it if John Higgins is still in it as I’ll want him to win it, if he’s out then I probably won’t watch. I’ll hopefully get off to a good start and hit next season running because this season has been a bit stop-start for me.’’
Read about the first and second session here. Those were played yesterday.
Ronnie O’Sullivan: ‘It’s a bit like a Mexican boxer’
Ronnie O’Sullivan has compared the Class of ’92 to Mexican boxers after reaching the last four of the World Snooker Championship.
The Rocket thrashed Stephen Maguire 13-5 in the quarter-finals at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
The world number one will next feature at the semi-final stage for a record 13th time of what has been a glittering career, as he continues his bid for a record-equalling seventh world crown.
Fellow esteemed 1992 tour graduates John Higgins, who O’Sullivan could play in the semi-finals, and Mark Williams are also still in the hunt for glory.
“Every match is tough, so I’m just pleased to still be in the tournament,” Ronnie O’Sullivan told World Championship sponsors Betfred.
“It’s down to the one-table setup so I’m pleased to still be playing. I’ve had a hard good season and enjoyed every moment of it.”
“I’ve enjoyed the last ten years of playing and I just want to keep enjoying it – just appreciating every moment I get to go out there and play.
“I feel alright, I’m always ready to play. In yourself sometimes you can feel whatever, but actually I’ve got it in a good place now. I’m enjoying everything I do.
“30 years here, I can’t believe it. Still here playing, still here competing, still loving it, still enjoying it.
“I don’t get too ahead of myself any more, I just play the balls, play the table, and enjoy doing something that you love.
“I don’t know (what it is about the Class of ’92). I think there’s a lot of talent out there, there’s some great young Chinese players coming through.
“There’s a lot of really fantastic players out there, but I suppose because we’ve been doing it for so long.
“We’re 47 now, or coming up to 47, and it’s sort of unheard of really. But I think certain people can do it.
“I look at Williams and Higgins – because I can’t speak for myself – and I can see how they’re doing it, there’s just little subtleties that they have in their game.
“It’s a bit like a Mexican boxer. We’ve been brought up in the Mexican way of playing snooker.
“You get the British fighters and they are comfortable over here, but you throw them over in Mexico or the American market, then they don’t look so good.
“I think we came from that kind of background of snooker where we were brought up with hard match play, lots of tournaments.
“You were dedicated to your sport, and I think that’s kind of stood us in good stead really. We’re probably the three Mexicanos.
“When I won four (world titles) that felt great. I always said that four was a big milestone – five didn’t feel much different to four.
“Six was okay. Seven, I don’t know. I’m not really bothered by numbers and records, it’s just experiences for me.
“To still be here playing is the thing. But I do have to get my head down, I have to focus and just try and squeeze every bit out of it as I can.”
Very unusually, Ronnie had been interviewed by Rachel before the end of the match. This was shared by Eurosport on twitter.
And here is the last frame of the match: