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O'Sullivan cruises past Murphy - report & watch best shots

Snooker



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Five-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan eased past Shaun Murphy 13-7 to reach the World Championship quarter-finals.

O'Sullivan led 10-6 overnight and breaks of 111, 67 and 55 on Saturday put him through to the last eight at the Crucible for the 18th time.

A century and three 70-plus breaks in Friday's opening session had put him 6-2 up - a lead he did not relinquish.

O'Sullivan will next face Ding Junhui, who took the last two frames for a 13-12 win over fellow Chinese Liang Wenbo.

Last year's runner-up Ding had led 6-2 and 9-6, but English Open champion Liang composed himself superbly in the final session with breaks of 98 and 61 to go one frame from victory.

However, Ding's stunning 132 and 70 saw him progress.

Ding said: "It is quite hard because I played one of my best friends. I told him there are no winners or losers, we just play a good game."

Four-time champion John Higgins came from behind to beat Northern Irishman Mark Allen 13-9.

The Scot was 5-2 behind at one stage, with Allen compiling three centuries, but Higgins showed his experience and nous to punish his opponent's mistakes, and goes on to face Kyren Wilson in the last eight.

Defending champion Mark Selby is playing China's Xiao Guodong in Saturday's evening session.



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In an extraordinary news conference following his first-round win over Gary Wilson, O'Sullivan had accused snooker authorities of "bullying and intimidation".

An already tasty encounter had further intrigue added to it by fellow Englishman and world number five Murphy, who dismissed his opponent's claims.

It seemed to fire O'Sullivan up, who looked focused and determined to produce a delightful performance in the first session, from which 2005 champion Murphy was unable to recover.

"I have practised for this tournament - given it six to seven weeks - but it does not necessarily mean you are going to play well. I have put my work in and hope to get stronger each match," said O'Sullivan.

"I don't pay attention to what anybody says. I come here, get into my own cocoon, and do what I have to do. It is a long slog - hard mentally, especially for me - but you just have to try your best."

After defeat on Saturday, Murphy said: "Any match against Ronnie is a test of your skills and you have to play at your absolute best to win. I did not.

"Ronnie played really, really well in the whole match and if he plays with that level of focus he will go on to win the title.

"I don't subscribe to the 'not being bothered' stuff. He certainly looks like he is trying."

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