O'Sullivan beats Davis - again
Ronnie O'Sullivan maintained his winning streak against Steve Davis to reach the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open.
Last Updated: 14/02/08 10:04pm
Ronnie O'Sullivan has maintained his decade-long winning streak against Steve Davis after claiming a 5-3 victory to reach the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open in Newport.
'The Rocket' was not at his best but did enough to record his 14th straight victory against the six-times world champion, who has not beaten him since the 1998 Masters.
O'Sullivan thus reached his seventh consecutive world ranking event quarter-final, with the 32-year-old proclaiming: "It was good to get over the line. It's all good in the 'Hood.
"I want to just keep ticking over, getting to quarters, semi-finals, finals and nicking the odd title. I'm not greedy.
"The great thing with me at the moment is that I'm enjoying my snooker, not just matches but my practice as well.
"I have done for quite a while and it feels like a hobby again," added O'Sullivan, who refused to discuss cue tip problems he suffered during the match.
Stylish breaks of 72 and 88 allowed O'Sullivan to take the opening two frames. However, Davis took the third with a run of 63.
The 50-year-old then looked poised to level in the next until, 55 points ahead, he missed a straightforward red to a middle pocket.
O'Sullivan pounced with a 68 clearance, with the player later admitting: "That gave me some leeway. 3-1 or 2-2 was a big difference. It was a turning point."
The two-times world champion then stole a scrappy fifth frame on the blue before briefly losing his way.
Davis rallied to 4-3 but, after potting only one ball in frames six and seven, O'Sullivan rediscovered his range with a 69 break to secure the win.
Masters champion Mark Selby also made the quarter-finals thanks to a 5-2 victory over Ken Doherty.
Selby, who also reached the World Championship final last year, made breaks of 71, 66, 60 and 114 to build a 4-1 lead.
Doherty briefly came to life when he erased a 50-point deficit in frame six thanks to a 92 clearance.
However, the Irishman's comeback ended there and then, with the confident Selby taking the seventh frame to set up a meeting with either China's Ding Junhui or world champion John Higgins.
Joe Perry followed up his outstanding 5-1 win against number seven seed Peter Ebdon in the previous round with a 5-2 victory over Stuart Bingham.
The world number 18 compiled breaks of 59, 107 and 115 en route to a meeting with Shaun Murphy.
Murphy's bid for a second title in as many weeks gathered momentum when he breezed into the last eight.
Four days after flying in from the Mediterranean with the Malta Cup in his luggage, the 2006 world champion continued to engage top gear as he ended Welsh interest in the tournament by beating Mark Williams 5-2.
Williams, desperate for points having slumped to 33rd on the provisional world list, held Murphy to 2-2 with a run of 100 in the fourth frame.
But there was no stopping Murphy after the interval as breaks of 105, 129 and 68 gave him the following three frames in just 38 minutes.
Murphy said: "I hit the ball very well. That's the kind of performance I've been working towards.
"It's the best snooker match I've played for a long time. Every time Mark gave me a chance I hit him hard and my tactical game was good as well. You can't ask for much more than that."