Ronnie O’Sullivan’s English Open journey came to an end with a defeat at the hands of Zhang Anda. The Chinese player secured a 4-2 victory, earning a spot in the quarter-finals in Brentwood. Meanwhile, John Higgins displayed exceptional form, recording two centuries (132 and 145) in his victory over Oliver Lines. Judd Trump didn’t reach the same level but fought his way to a 4-2 win against Yuan Sijun, and Liu Hongyu emerged victorious against Mark Williams.
Ronnie O’Sullivan was sent crashing out of the English Open after a disjointed display against Zhang Anda, while Liu Hongyu defeated Mark Williams.
O’Sullivan said after his win over Si Jiahui earlier in the day that “I am enjoying playing, I am battling and want to play and am giving it all I can.”
The battling tendencies were on display at the start of the match against Zhang as he dug in to share the opening four frames.
But after being disrupted by some movement in the crowd, O’Sullivan’s composure disappeared and he was guilty of making some rash shot choices.
Zhang was handed the chance and he took it to close out a first career win over O’Sullivan – who bit off his tip and deposited it on the floor in Brentwood.
In the opening frame Zhang had hopes of a 147 after taking six reds and six blacks – but broke down and paid the price as O’Sullivan stepped in with a run of 80.
Zhang struck the ball well in the opening frame before missing a red along the bottom rail. A chance came his way in the second and he took it with a break of 80 to level the scores.
An excellent safety from O’Sullivan forced an error from Zhang and a plant got him going in the third. On a tough table, he made 27 before breaking down, but the lead he eked out eventually proved to be enough.
Some movement in the crowd upset O’Sullivan at the start of frame four, and he said to referee Ben Williams that it looked like a sponsored walk was taking place in the Brentwood Centre.
A poor shot handed Zhang a chance and as O’Sullivan trudged back to his chair, the underdog cashed in with a break of 97.
A frustrated O’Sullivan could be seen muttering to himself after the fourth frame, and the body language was not good as he took on a risky red when an easy safety was the sensible option at the start of the fifth.
O’Sullivan began to throw his cue at shots, and benefited from an outrageous fluke but did not cash in, and after a second wild shot he let in Zhang who mopped up a half century to get within one frame of victory.
With composure in short supply for O’Sullivan, Zhang approached his task with maturity and left his rival with a near-impossible red at the start of the sixth.
O’Sullivan took the bait, but missed the pot to the yellow pocket by a distance.
It did not prove fatal as Zhang went in-off when attempting to split the pack.
Such was O’Sullivan’s frustration after missing another red that he bit off his cue tip before the match had drawn to a conclusion.
Zhang had effectively reached the winning line at that point, and he crossed it in style with a century to advance to the quarter-finals where he will play Zhou Yuelong who was a 4-1 winner over Ali Carter.
O’Sullivan will have to find a replacement tip before he takes on Ken Doherty in the first round of the Wuhan Open on Monday – with the action live on Eurosport and discovery+.
In a late finish, Liu beat Williams 4-3 in a scrappy fight between the pair that resulted in yet another big upset at the tournament.
The Chinese player managed two half-century breaks and Welshman WIlliams managed just one, a 52 to go 3-2 clear. However, Liu held his nerve and took the remaining two frames.
ohn Higgins produced some sizzling snooker in his 4-1 win over Oliver Lines. The Scot knocked in breaks of 145 – the highest of the tournament – 71, 91 and 132.
Judd Trump was not at his best, but did enough to get over the line to beat Yuan SiJun 4-2 – and produced one party piece with a superb brown into the middle in the fifth frame.
Ding Junhui claimed a comeback win over world champion Luca Brecel to book his spot in the last eight.