Ronnie O’Sullivan (12/5 Outright – NI Open) eased into the last-16 of the Northern Ireland Open with a convincing 4-1 win over Stuart Carrington to set up a mouth-watering clash with Chinese prodigy Yuan Sijun.
The Rocket put together breaks of 80, 75 and 94 to seal his place in the next round, which will be played on Thursday, after Carrington had taken a surprise lead with a run of 51 in the opening frame.
O’Sullivan edged a cagey second frame to level the best-of-seven clash and from then on it was all one-way traffic for the five-time world champion and tournament favourite.
His next match could be tougher as Yuan is a player who has been described as ‘the best 18-year old since Ronnie O’Sullivan’ by Stephen Hendry.
The Nanchang native impressed fellow pros and pundits alike when he beat Betfred World Champion Mark Williams 4-3 and Stephen Maguire 4-2 to reach the World Grand Prix quarter-final in February, eventually losing to flatmate Xiao Guodong 5-4 in the last eight.
Defending Northern Ireland Open champion Judd Trump (1/5 Match Result) thrashed Si Jiahui 4-0 with breaks of 79, 87, 56 and 55 to set up another eye-catching clash with Yan Bingtao (18/5) in the last-16.
Yan reached the final in Belfast two years ago and has beaten Gerard Greene, Marco Fun and Ali Carter to come this far.