Masters: Ronnie O'Sullivan breaks century record and Neil Robertson shines
Last Updated: 16/01/15 9:50am
Ronnie O'Sullivan became the highest century maker in snooker to set up a Masters semi-final with Neil Robertson at Alexandra Palace in London.
While Robertson secured two more tons of his own in a comfortable 6-1 victory over Ali Carter, O'Sullivan received a standing ovation after his 6-1 demolition of Hong Kong's Marco Fu.
I was a bit nervous, to be honest, because I knew everyone was thinking about it, so to get it out of the way was nice
The 39-year-old added his 776th career century with a first frame break of 101, moving one beyond Stephen Hendry’s haul of tons, and went on to complete a comfortable victory in the capital.
That result took him to 43 wins in the tournament, another new record for O'Sullivan, who had equalled Hendry's mark in Tuesday's victory over Ricky Walden.
The Essex man seemed on course for another century in the second as he amassed 51, but then missed a brown and Fu snatched the frame on the black to level at 1-1.
O'Sullivan regained his lead in the third, punishing wayward play from Fu with a break of 67, and sealed the fourth frame on the black to open up a 3-1 advantage at the interval.
He tightened his grip on the match when play restarted as breaks of 85 and 66 left him one frame from victory.
Facing defeat, Fu was unable to hold off 'The Rocket', who soon secured his place in the last four.
Asked about the record, O'Sullivan said: "I was a bit nervous, to be honest, because I knew everyone was thinking about it, so to get it out of the way was nice. But there was still a match to play - (at) 1-0, I was like, 'Calm down'.
"Marco is playing consistently well, so I knew it was going to be a tough match. He is at the business end of most tournaments and he always plays well against me, so I knew I had to be on my game.
"The first four (frames) were a little bit hit and miss but I was pleased that I was able to not get frustrated and just try to compete and try to drain every bit out of those first four frames as I could."
O'Sullivan will play former world champion Robertson for a place in the final after a devastating show from the Australian.
Robertson's break-building was outstanding and he hardly looked back after opening with a clearance of 128.
He doubled his lead with another clearance and only lost a tight third frame on the black, despite an impressive fightback when needing a snooker.
It was some relief from Carter, who recently returned to the baize after beating cancer, but he was soon kept away from the table again as his left-handed opponent knocked in a 98 and came through a scrappy fifth to lead 4-1.
With the potting success from the Melbourne potter reaching an astonishing 98 per cent, Carter looked a little shocked as breaks of 127 and 84 handed Robertson victory.