RONNIE O’Sullivan needed less than an hour to book his place in the semi-finals of The Masters after a stunning performance proved way too hot for Ricky Walden to handle.
The reigning world champion was on top form as he recorded a superb 6-0 win against the recent UK Championship semi-finalist in a match lasting just 57 minutes.
O’Sullivan’s performance was so good, it even broke a snooker record as he made the highest number of points (556) without reply ever seen.
In fact it was Walden who had the first real opportunity of the match to score big – but when he broke down on 38 the match was then truly dominated by the five-times world champion.
A break of 79 punished Walden’s error in the opening frame before quick-fire breaks of 88 and 72 raced him into a 3-0 lead.
O’Sullivan then ended the first session in style with a sublime clearance of 134 to put him in total control at 4-0 up.
And there was no letting up from the Rocket after the break as a run of 77 put him on the verge of the semi-finals.
A superb performance could have been topped off by a 147 maximum when O’Sullivan potted seven reds and seven blacks to put an enthralled crowd on the edge of their seat. But it was not to be as he missed a long red on 56 – the only real mistake he made in the whole contest.
A run of 36 sealed the whitewash win for O’Sullivan in what was undoubtedly the best performance seen in the tournament so far as he sent a strong message to his rivals.
O’Sullivan has now won 12 out of 13 frames in this tournament following today’s landslide win and his 6-1 win over Robert Milkins in the first round.
The Rocket, chasing his fifth Masters title, will next meet the winner of tonight’s final quarter-final match between Neil Robertson and Stephen Maguire, starting at 7pm.