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Adrenaline saw me through opener, reveals tired O'Sullivan

 

Taking aim: Ronnie O'Sullivan during his opening victory
Taking aim: Ronnie O'Sullivan during his opening victory

By Phil Casey

A tired Ronnie O'Sullivan began his bid for an eighth Dafabet Masters title with a comfortable 6-2 victory over former world champion Stuart Bingham.

Although Bingham won the opening frame, O'Sullivan took the next five in succession with the aid of breaks of 59, 96, 134, 111 and 60 at Alexandra Palace.

Bingham stopped the rot with a run of 71 in the seventh frame and looked set to take the next as well, but missed frame ball into the yellow pocket and O'Sullivan cleared up with a break of 66 to force a re-spotted black.

Seven-time winner O'Sullivan missed two difficult chances before eventually potting the black to secure a quarter-final with Ryan Day.

"I just tried to be as professional as I could, disciplined and just draw on all your experience to do what you've got to do," O'Sullivan said.

"He (Bingham) looked like he was getting stronger towards the end, I made a few mistakes and the game can punish you sometimes.

"I can play for another 10 years but I get tired now. I've got insomnia really, I've had it for seven years and every now and again it catches me out and I felt really tired today.

"I wasn't sure I was going to get through it but I went out there and the adrenaline kicked in.

"It's important when you're tired to feel like you are playing alright because adrenaline can overtake you."

In the evening session, Ding Junhui enjoyed a 6-1 victory over debutant Jack Lisowski to set up an exciting quarter-final with Mark Allen's conqueror Luca Brecel.

Ding went into the interval with a 4-0 lead thanks to a break of 66 in the opener and edging the next three.

Lisowski was made to pay for missing a vital red after a break of 49 in the second frame and the third featured a 20-minute battle on the pink before Ding snatched it to extend his advantage.

The Chinese star then won the fourth frame on the black and compiled a clearance of 123 to make it 5-0 before Lisowski finally got on the scoreboard, but Ding took the seventh frame.

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