Ronnie O’Sullivan wasted little time in winning the two frames he needed for a place in the quarter-finals of this year’s Maplin UK Championship.
The Rocket resumed 7-1 in front of former practice partner Mark King at the Telford International Centre.
And it was not long before the Chigwell professional was celebrating a 9-1 victory and a quarter-final meeting with either Beckenham’s Barry Hawkins or Stoke’s Jamie Cope.
O’Sullivan had breaks of 49 and 40 to make sure of the two frames he needed for victory but was far from happy with his own performance.
“I can’t really allow myself to say that was a good performance,” said O’Sullivan, who had further match breaks of 119, 51, 71, 82, 63 and 49.
“It was a win, but that was about it really. There were far too many unforced errors for my liking and I can’t allow myself to say that was good.
“Mark helped me over the line, he made many mistakes. I left him amongst the balls lots of times and another day he would have taken those chances and beaten me.”
O’Sullivan has not won a ranking title for 32 months, but although he has admitted that does not worry him, he does want to improve.
“The scoreline flatters me massively,” added the world number five.
“Mark didn’t punish me and I got a bit of luck. From 3-0, 4-0 down it’s a tough way back.
“You never expect an easy game against Mark. He’s going to make you work for everything you get, but Mark came out today to play and he missed balls he shouldn’t have really.
“Of course I want to play better. I want to improve, but I don’t know whether I need to improve.”
Hong Kong’s Marco Fu booked his place in this year’s quarter-finals with a comfortable 9-2 victory over Cambridge cueman Joe Perry.
Fu, this season’s Royal London Watches Grand Prix champion, led 7-1 after the afternoon session of play.
And he too took little time to progress, winning the two frames he needed for victory despite a high break of just 38.
Next up for Fu is a meeting with either Stoke’s Dave Harold or last season’s world championship runner-up Mark Selby.
Selby later confirmed a quarter-final meeting with the Hong Kong star after a 9-2 victory over Stoke’s Harold.
The World Championship runner-up led 6-2 after the afternoon session today and needed under 40 minutes to win the three frames he needed for victory.
Breaks of 99, 120 and 48 did the damage for the world No 11 from Leicester.
Scotland’s Stephen Maguire made sure of his place in the quarter-finals with a 9-5 victory over Preston’s Ian McCulloch, an opponent who fought back from 5-0 down to beat defending champion Peter Ebdon in the first round.
Maguire led 5-3 after the afternoon session and secured his passage through by winning four out of the next six frames.
“Ian slowed the game down and made it hard for me, but that’s up to him,” said Maguire. “He did what he had to win, but I was never under pressure.
“Every time we both got in we’re couldn’t get a decent split on the pack (of reds), but from 5-3 I felt comfortable.”
In the last match to finish Stoke’s Jamie Cope won a tense final-frame decider to knock out Beckenham’s Barry Hawkins.
The Shotgun, who dumped out world champion John Higgins at the first hurdle, pocketed a cool 105 break to go through.
The pair’s last 16 clash was played in one of the side cubicles, which two-time ranking event runner-up Cope admitted he found difficult to get used to.
“It was completely different for me, it took me a bit of time to get going,” admitted Cope, who had match breaks of 57, 45, 58, 55, 56, 44 and 105.
“I couldn’t have wished for a better match, I’m really looking forward to playing Ronnie.”