Click below to read how Ronnie O’Sullivan and seven other players progressed to the last 16 stage of the latest PTC event today, while you can follow the action from Sunday over at Global Snooker…
EDIT: Rankings now updated to the close of play on Saturday.
Former world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan has had his problems when up against Mark Selby in the past but yesterday he wasted no time at all in sending him out of the tournament, recording top breaks of 71 and 68 en route to an impressive 4-0 victory. This marks the second time this season that O’Sullivan has dispatched Selby with relative ease in the PTC and having already beaten Ryan Day and Ken Doherty for the loss of just one frame earlier in the day, he surely heads into the final day as the favourite to take the title.
One man who may have something to say about that however is Judd Trump who has also dropped just one frame in seeing off Anthony McGill, Dermot McGlinchey and Leeds’ amateur David Grace. That is not to say that young McGill did not have something to smile about however as he saw off seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry in the opening round by an eye-catching 4-0 scoreline. I would not say that the result is a surprise given the amount of snooker that each player has played so far this season and the unfamiliarity of playing in a cubicle for Hendry which has caught out the likes of Ken Doherty in the past when coming from playing at the television venues for so many years. Perhaps this is a sign of what would come should Hendry drop out of the top 16, or maybe I am just reading too much into the result.
Nevertheless though, take nothing away from Ant as that is a brilliant result for him.
Elsewhere in the last 32 stage there were a string of close matches settled by a deciding frame as Stephen Maguire, Marco Fu, Dominic Dale and Tony Drago all found a way to win. Of those players Maguire in particular appears to be playing well, consistently scoring heavily and seeing off strong opposition in Jamie Cope and Mark Davis to progress this far.
Notable results from earlier in the day included that which saw Marco Fu gain some measure of revenge against Martin Gould for that defeat at the Crucible earlier this season, while Ricky Walden exited at the hands of Tony Drago who so far this season at least has maintained the form that saw him shoot up the rankings during 2009/10.
Having both performed well recently, it was not to be such a good weekend for talented youngsters Liam Highfield and Event Three finalist Jack Lisowski who both lost heavily at the last 64 stage against Alfie Burden and Mark Davis respectively.
Aside from the Hendry result there were few real shocks from the first round, although Nigel Bond and Ian McCulloch were sent home at the first hurdle. Reanne Evans also saw her miserable run continue as she lost out 4-1 to amateur Allan Taylor.