Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Ali Carter 13-8 to reach last eight at the Crucible
Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Ali Carter 13-8 to clinch his place in the Betfair World Championship quarter-finals.
Last Updated: 29/04/13 11:08pm
After winning all 12 of their previous matches at major tournaments, including last year's Crucible final, O'Sullivan extended that record to 13 from 13 with a decisive 13-8 victory which set up a last eight clash with Stuart Bingham.
Carter came from 6-3 behind on Sunday to briefly level at seven frames each, at which point he had O'Sullivan rattled in his seat, with the 37-year-old four-time world champion still not at his sharpest following almost a full year out of the sport.
But even O'Sullivan in rusty condition eventually proved too potent a potter for Carter, who was floored by a flurry of punishing breaks.
Armed with a 9-7 overnight lead, he edged that out by taking the opening frame with the aid of an audacious long double on the final red.
And although Carter responded positively with an 86 break, the hint of a fightback in the offing was only the spur for O'Sullivan to step up his game.
He was given a helping hand by Chelmsford man Carter who on each occasion left reds hanging to get O'Sullivan started, but the punishment was decisive as runs of 88 and 106 opened a four-frame gap.
Carter returned from the interval needing to win five frames in a row, and he drove in a splendid long red to start with but made just 27, and soon found himself in a snooker.
He hit the target red but left it for O'Sullivan who ploughed in 89 to settle the issue.
O'Sullivan said: "It was a tough match and I'm just pleased to have got through there. Anyone who says they're not uncomfortable out there is a liar.
"I'm pleased I came through it but it's not going to get any easier now. I feel a lot more tired and jaded than I did coming into this tournament last year."
In Monday night's other game, Ricky Walden completed the quarter-final line-up by seeing off Robert Milkins.
Walden had gone 9-3 up at one point but the plucky Milkins dug in to reduce the gap to 12-11.
However, in frame 24, Walden finally got in amongst the balls and ran up a break of 86 to secure a 13-11 win and set up a quarter-final clash with Michael White.