Seven-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan cruised into the quarter-finals of the Masters with a 6-1 victory over Jack Lisowski at Alexandra Palace.
Lisowski made a break of 108 in the second frame to get back on level terms after O’Sullivan won a scrappy opener but missed a routine green in the next and watched O’Sullivan make an 86 clearance to move 2-1 ahead.
A break of 63 extended O’Sullivan’s lead and he returned from the mid-session interval with a total clearance of 127 and further contributions of 64 and 125 to the delight of the partisan crowd.
“I struggled early on, I was really, really nervous,” O’Sullivan said in a post-match interview.
“It’s such a big crowd, we’ve been playing behind closed doors for so long I forgot what it was like to play in front of a crowd, let alone a crowd like this full of mad Londoners.
“I was feeling the pressure, but after the second frame I calmed down a bit and thought, okay, let’s just try and play snooker and I played all right.”
O’Sullivan, who will face Australia’s Neil Robertson in the last eight, added: “I’ll just savour every match I play – 20 majors, most successful player of all time.
“I’ve just got to keep thinking of that and take that into the match and let him worry about me.”