Ronnie O’Sullivan made quick work of Welshman Matthew Stevens to book a place in his 17th World Snooker Championship quarter-final.
The tournament favourite quickly secured the single frame he needed to romp to a 13-5 victory, but once again it will be The Rocket’s off-the-table antics that make the headlines.
O’Sullivan was warned by match official Olivier Marteel during the second session for making a lewd gesture to himself. And the five-time world champion appeared apologetic about his actions after the match.
“I did a gesture and put the cue between my legs. You know what I mean. It was a poor shot and that was just me showing what I thought of it”, explained the 39-year-old.
“The referee is probably one of the best on the tour and he handled the situation really well. You know what you are and aren’t allowed to get away with and once I’d made that first mistake I knew I had to be on good behaviour.”
“I wasn’t happy with loosing my temper a few times in the second session, but it was just heat of the moment stuff. It shows how much I want to win and play well.”
Next up for O’Sullivan is fellow Essex potter Stuart Bingham. The pair begin their quarter-final clash at 2:30pm this afternoon.
* Former world champion Shaun Murphy admits he sees shades of himself in rising Scottish star Anthony McGill.
But the Magician is confident he can stop the Glaswegian potter from working his own magic when the pair clash in today’s quarter-finals. Murphy, the 2005 Crucible champ, cruised to an emphatic 13-5 victory over compatriot Joe Perry.
And now a mouth-watering meeting with debutant McGill awaits at snooker’s very own Theatre of Dreams: “From a snooker lovers point of view it’s great to see him coming through, especially because this [the Crucible] is where he’s made to play,” said Murphy, who won the title a decade ago as a 150-1 qualifier.
“He’s a fantastic player and everyone loves him. It looks like he’s really enjoying himself. I remember being in his position before when I first played here, but I wouldn’t say he’s got nothing to lose.
“At the end of the day it’s the quarter-finals of the World Championship so, although he might be saying he’s under no pressure, I very much doubt that’s how he’s feeling.
“His all-round tactical game is excellent and he’s a very good break-builder.
“And, as well as that, he endears himself well to everybody. He’s polite, kind and a nice lad. It’s going to be a really tough game for me. I’m really looking forward to the match.”
McGill admitted: “I can definitely see why people might see some kind of comparison with my start here and the way Shaun came in as a qualifier when he won it in 2005.”
Former Rotherham potter Murphy, who now lives in Nottingham, resumed with a commanding 12-4 lead over Cambridgeshire cueman Perry ahead of the concluding session of their best-of-25 frame clash.
And although Perry pinched the fir st frame of the session to halt the inevitable, Murphy quickly pocketed a 68 break to secure an eighth Crucible quarter-final berth.
Potting sensation Judd Trump also eased into the quarter-finals with a 13-8 win over Hong Kong potter Marco Fu.
The 2011 Crucible runner-up finished with a stylish 133 break having resumed with a healthy 10-6 advantage. Next up is a showdown with Sheffield-based Chinese cueman Ding Junhui.