Ronnie O’Sullivan closes in on World Championship quarter-final spot

Ronnie O’Sullivan opened up a 10-6 lead on Ryan Day to move within three frames of another World Championship quarter-final appearance.

O’Sullivan, aiming for a record-breaking eighth Crucible success, built on a 5-3 first-session lead by making Day pay for a succession of missed chances.

A missed yellow from Day proved costly as O’Sullivan made an 82 clearance and, although the Welshman replied by winning a scruffy frame, the seven-time world champion did not have to get out of second gear to dominate.

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2024 – Day Nine – The Crucible
Ronnie O’Sullivan lines up a shot during his second round match at the World Championship against Ryan Day (Martin Rickett/PA)

The pattern remained the same after the interval as O’Sullivan cashed in on Day mistakes with frame-winning breaks of 56 and 96.

But Day – who has not beaten O’Sullivan since 2011 – responded superbly with efforts of 77 and 75 and keep his faint hopes alive when the action resumes on Monday afternoon.

Kyren Wilson also takes a 10-6 lead over Joe O’Connor into the final session of their second-round match on Monday afternoon.

After Wilson had raced into a 6-2 lead, the second session was shared, with O’Connor taking the final frame with a 102 clearance.

Stephen Maguire secured his spot in the last eight by beating Shaun Murphy 13-9.

The pair have feuded for two decades following an incident where Maguire was penalised a frame for forgetting his chalk and the Scot held off a late fightback from Murphy to seal victory.

He resumed on Sunday morning with a 10-6 overnight lead and continued his quest to reach the quarter-finals with a break of 68 before Murphy pulled a frame back.

Maguire then moved within one frame of victory but Murphy continued to battle, a 67 break earning him the following frame before he took the first after the mid-session interval to trail by three.

However, Maguire sealed victory in style, hitting the only century of the match with a 127 to set up a meeting with David Gilbert.

Maguire told the World Snooker Tour website: “(Murphy) looked like he was comfortable in that session, so I was starting to get geared up for a comeback and a close finish. Once I got my chance, I finished pretty well there.

“Me and Dave (Gilbert) get on and we’ve grown up with each other for the best part of 30 years. He is a great player. He’s not had a great season by his standards. I’m probably the same, so we are coming into a good game at the right time.

“The quarter-finals are the pressure matches. I’ve won a couple and lost a couple. It is a match you don’t want to lose in because that arena changes and it does become the best in the world with the one table.”

During Saturday’s session Murphy fist-pumped after winning a frame and Maguire admitted it provided him some motivation.

Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire reached the quarter-finals of the competition (Nigel French/PA)

“He won a frame I should’ve won and I was sitting there hating myself when the fist-pump came out and I thought, ‘you’re having it’ and all my attention went on that.

“It was satisfying beating a player as good as Shaun is in the last 16 of the World Championship.”

Mark Allen edged 9-7 ahead in his last-16 meeting with John Higgins in a tight encounter between the pair.

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2024 – Day Nine – The Crucible
Mark Allen edged in front at the Crucible (Mark Rickett/PA)

Stuart Bingham fended off Jack Lisowski’s comeback to also take a 9-7 lead into Monday’s session.

Bingham extended his lead to 6-3 after taking the ninth frame, but Lisowski responded by taking the next three to claw his way back into contention.

However, Bingham finished strongly to take a two-frame advantage into the final session.

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