RONNIE O’Sullivan was in breathtaking form as he stormed into a huge 7-1 lead against Stuart Bingham in their World Championship quarter-final encounter.
A sublime performance saw the defending champion take firm control against the Basildon star and stands well on course to make the semi-finals of the World Championship.
Despite playing just his third game since almost a year’s break from the sport, The Rocket displayed a stunning master-class of break building as his chances of lifting a fifth world title reached a step closer to reality.
O’Sullivan continued where he left off on Monday evening when he beat Ali Carter in the second round as breaks of 79 and 54 gave him the opening frame against this season’s Premier League champion.
After winning a scrappy second frame, O’Sullivan fired in a century break of 111 to go 3-0 ahead. And alarm bells rang for Bingham when a missed red on a break of 50 was duly punished by the four-times world champion as a ruthless clearance of 60 made it 4-0.
The mid-session interval saw no respite for Bingham as O’Sullivan continued his dominance as brilliant breaks of 87, 133 and 78 put him 7-0 to the good.
But Bingham managed to avoid the danger of a potential whitewash defeat by taking the last frame of the session. But at 7-1 down against a man in superb form, it is going to take an almighty effort from him to turn this quarter-final around.
Meanwhile, Ricky Walden took charge of his quarter-final against young Welshman Michael White after winning six of the opening eight frames.
Walden, who beat Robert Milkins on Monday to reach the last eight of the World Championship for the first time, made a strong start against the Crucible debutant as he took the first four frames with a top break of 93.
White, who has lit up the Crucible with impressive wins against Mark Williams and Dechawat Poomjaeng, got his house back in order after the interval winning the next two frames to get back in the match at 4-2 down.
But like the start of the session, it was Walden who finished the early proceeding the stronger of the two as he took the final two frames including a break of 113 to put him 6-2 ahead overnight.
Both matches resume on Wednesday morning.