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Ronnie O'Sullivan finding world bid so 'easy'

By John Skilbeck

Ronnie O'Sullivan admitted he was surprised with the "easy" nature of his victory as he demolished Shaun Murphy to reach today's semi-finals of the Dafabet World Snooker Championship at the Crucible.

The defending champion completed a 13-3 win with a session to spare as he capitalised on a host of mistakes and will face Barry Hawkins, who dramatically beat Dominic Dale in a deciding frame.

"You just never know what type of match you're going to get," said O'Sullivan, who beat Hawkins 18-12 in last year's final.

"You can expect a really tough match and it turns out easy like it did with Shaun. I didn't expect to win it that easy to be fair. He's a free-scoring great potter.

"He just missed a few balls and let me in quite 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.

The five-time champion added the opening two in the morning to stretch his advantage before Murphy got a frame back in the 11th but O'Sullivan followed that with a break of 118 to take a 9-3 lead into the mid-session interval.

The restart was delayed for a short while due to a problem with the scoreboard and when play resumed O'Sullivan made a break of 59 before giving Murphy a glimmer of hope.

Murphy looked to be heading for a rare frame success but missed a routine pink and O'Sullivan gratefully took the opportunity to extend his lead further.

A missed green off the spot in the next frame summed up Murphy's performance as O'Sullivan again capitalised, closing out a comprehensive victory.

Murphy said: "Maybe I was due a good smashing up. (It's) very tough to take."

Mark Selby also breezed through to the semi-finals, beating Alan McManus 13-5.

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