Grand Prix 2009: Williams blasts Bingo to move into last 16

Ronnie O’Sullivan was not at his fluent best this afternoon but just about did enough to see off Jamie Burnett and set up a mouthwatering tie with world champion John Higgins. Mark Williams meanwhile will also get another crack at his mate Stephen Hendry after a 5-0 whitewash of Stuart Bingham…

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Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-3 Jamie Burnett

68(44)-29, 21-86(33), 126(126)-0, 8-61(58), 68(53)-31, 76(51)-6, 64(32,32)-67(51c), 72(71)-17

As was the case for Stephen Hendry yesterday, world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan might be best known for his attacking flair but while he produced a break of 126 in frame three, it was his tactical game that helped him to victory today.

After the first two frames were shared, O’Sullivan knocked in his ton before Burnett countered with what would be his highest break of the match, 58 to ensure that he would go into the interval level at 2-2.

A run of 53 from O’Sullivan in the next was enough to put Ronnie back in the lead, though not without a scare as Burnett was foiled by a nasty kick when potting to black as he looked to steal the frame. O’Sullivan then took the next with another half-century to open up a two-frame cushion  in the match for the first time.

Burnett hung in there with a gritty clearance of 51 in frame seven but it was not to be enough and O’Sullivan duly wrapped up the match with a break of 71 in the next.

O’Sullivan now heads into a fascinating last 16 tie with home favourite and defending world champion that will not only be interesting for the sake of the tournament, but will ensure that the winner could gain quite a lot of points in the rankings race. Burnett’s venue jinx continues however, he has not won a match at one since the 2007 Welsh Open.

Mark Williams 5-0 Stuart Bingham

71(71c)-56(44), 74(74c)-55(55), 63(38)-26, 74(58)-1, 62(62)-2

Welshman Mark Williams put in an impressive performance against Stuart Bingham this afternoon to book a rematch with friend Stephen Hendry, the man who beat him in the World Championship back in April.

The scoreline however does not tell the story as Stuart could easily have taken both of the first two frames, getting in first with breaks of 44 and 55 but ultimately winning neither! Mark’s clearances of 71 and 74 obviously knocked the wind out of Stuart’s sails and from this point on he scored just 29 more points in the rest of the match as the Welsh potting machine put him to the sword.

Mark will no doubt be hoping to get one over Hendry tomorrow and if he can score like he did today then it is fair to say that he has every chance. Could be a Grand Prix classic…