Rocket breezes through

Ronnie O’Sullivan admitted he was surprised by the “easy” nature of his win as he demolished Shaun Murphy to reach the semi-finals of the Dafabet World Snooker Championship.

The holder completed a 13-3 win with a session to spare as he capitalised on a host of mistakes from his opponent and will go on to face Barry Hawkins in the last four.

“You never know what type of match you’re going to get,” O’Sullivan said. “You can expect a really tough match and it turns out easy like it did with Shaun. I didn’t expect to win that easy. He’s a free-scoring great potter. He just missed a few balls and let me in easily. I still had to pot them but I didn’t have to fight for my chances.”

O’Sullivan claimed seven of the eight frames yesterday after overcoming an early 2-0 deficit to lead 6-2 overnight.

Six-time Crucible victor Steve Davis claimed Murphy had let an opportunity slip through his fingers, saying: “At two-nil Ronnie looked shaky. He played a great snooker that Shaun failed to get out of, and from then the whole game swung around and Shaun effectively collapsed.”

But Murphy insisted that was not the case and he was just the latest victim of O’Sullivan’s brilliance.

On the other table, Mark Selby also breezed through after claiming the one remaining frame he needed against Alan McManus. The Leicester cueman came into the session with a commanding 12-4 lead and veteran McManus won the opening frame with a break of 69 to extend the contest.

The Scot was among the balls again early in the 18th frame before losing position on 20, opening the door for Selby. A missed red to the middle from the 2007 finalist allowed McManus back to the table. He could not take advantage, though, and Selby closed out a 13-5 win to advance.

Barry Hawkins survived a remarkable fightback from Dominic Dale to seal a 13-12 victory. Dale, trailing 11-5 overnight, claimed the first seven frames of the session to shock last-year’s runner-up who needed just two further frames when play began yesterday afternoon. He got them, the last two of the session as Hawkins set up a repeat of last year’s final with O’Sullivan.

Trump and world number one Robertson were locked at 11 each, their match concluding late last evening, the winner to play Selby.

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