Photos courtesy of Monique Limbos. All results from the Dafabet Masters can be found here.
Crowd favourite Ronnie O'Sullivan was looking in decent form during his first-round match against Robert Milkins at the Dafabet Masters, where he eased to a 6-1 win. But no one was expecting how well he was going to play today in his quarter-final clash against Ricky Walden.
In front of a packed audience at Alexandra Palace, it was Walden who actually had the first chance of the match, making a 38 before breaking down. Five-time World Champion O'Sullivan replied with a rapid 79 clearance to win the frame, and already it looked as if he would run away with it.
Ronnie O'Sullivan scored a record 565 unanswered points, including a 134 total clearance.
All hope for Walden had pretty much gone by the interval as further breaks of 88 and 72 lifted the Rocket to a 3-0 lead, before fluking a long red in the next frame on route to a spectacular 134 total clearance to make it 4-0 in under 40 minutes.
When they resumed, O'Sullivan's momentum definitely hadn't left him as he made another top break, a 77 to go 5-0 up. Even after breaking down on a 147 attempt on 56 in the next frame, Walden couldn't buy a pot for love nor money, and the four-time Masters champion finished in style with a 36 to complete the whitewash, 6-0.
Even more incredible, O'Sullivan's run of scoring from the first frame onwards meant that he had scored 565 unanswered points against Walden. This easily beat Ding Junhui's previous record of 495, which he made against Stephen Hendry in the 2007 Premier League.
BBC's match stats, incredible numbers from O'Sullivan.
As the stats showed, the Rocket was really on another planet today. Walden was quick to admit that there was nothing he could of done: "For the first time in my career, the opponent was unplayable."
On the other hand, O'Sullivan was in a bouyant mood after his victory: "I didn't feel completely unplayable, but my cue ball control was good and so was my long potting. If it all comes together at once, it can be really hard to play against that person."
O'Sullivan will face the winner of tonight's last remaining quarter-final match between Stephen Maguire and Neil Robertson. When asked if he could produce the same in the semifinals tomorrow, he said: "Form is temporary, there is no point getting too excited just yet."
"I admit that it was a good win and I'm pleased to be through to the next round, but both guys are extremely tough opponents and it won't be an easy match," added O'Sullivan. To see O'Sullivan's amazing 134 total clearance, check out the video below.
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Article by Stephen Kent.