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Dublin: 13°C Sunday 16 May 2021

58 minutes 31 seconds: O'Sullivan rockets into Masters semis with 6-0 win

“I scored about 35 points in the first frame then never saw another ball,” admits Ricky Walden after Ronnie’s masterclass.

O'Sullivan: scored a record 556 points unanswered today.
O'Sullivan: scored a record 556 points unanswered today.
Image: Adam Davy/PA Wire/Press Association Images

REIGNING WORLD CHAMPION Ronnie O’Sullivan took less than an hour to book his place in the semi-finals of the Masters tournament with a record-breaking 6-0 rout of Ricky Walden.

O’Sullivan, 38, needed just under 59 minutes to brush aside Walden at London’s Alexandra Palace as he chases a fifth title in the prestigious event.

Remarkably, after Walden had led in the opener after a break of 38, O’Sullivan’s frame-winning reply of 79 started a run of 556 points without reply.

China’s Ding Junhui held the previous record with 495 points without reply, against Stephen Hendry in the 2007 Premier League.

O’Sullivan, a five-time world champion, told BBC2: “I scored well, I potted some long ones for a change and my safety was okay with a few snookers.

“That’s snooker. I’ve had it numerous times, when you just sit there as a passenger.

“It can be embarrassing but at some point you just go ‘well, this guy’s on fire’, and it’s good to watch sometimes.”

O’Sullivan’s first frame fightback was sparked by a superb opening red from distance and he followed it up with 88 in the second frame and 72 in the third, the latter after Walden attempted to escape from a snooker and hit the pink.

The frame before the interval was the best of the bunch, a 134 total clearance ensuring an emphatic 4-0 advantage.

And there was no let-up upon the resumption, with 77 to win the first frame back and 56 and 39 in the next to get over the line.

O’Sullivan’s run of unanswered points was a record for any professional tournament and a shell-shocked Walden said: “That’s the first time I’ve ever felt absolutely helpless on a snooker table.

“I scored about 35 points in the first frame then never saw another ball, really.”

- © AFP, 2014

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