RONNIE O’SULLIVAN and Neil Robertson justified their main contender statuses for the World Championship title after enjoying dominant displays this afternoon.
O’Sullivan stands just one frame away from reaching the quarter-finals after outclassing Matthew Stevens in every department to take a 12-4 lead going into the final session on Monday evening.
And Australian Robertson needs just two more frames after he continued his dominance over Ali Carter in their second round clash – taking an overnight lead of 11-5.
O’Sullivan, bidding to join a small group of players to win the World Championship on six occasions, looked in top form throughout the afternoon session and punished Stevens who was unable to carry his A game to the table.
It was a commanding display from O’Sullivan – the kind which certainly warranted his tag as the main favourite to win the World Championship once again.
Leading 5-3 from Saturday’s opening session, O’Sullivan made the perfect start as he went three frames clear early on with a break of 62. The next two frames were shared as O’Sullivan led 7-4.
But then either side of the mid-session saw five times world champion O’Sullivan at his majestic best as breaks of 110 and 139 put him out of sight against a deflated Welshman who was struggling to recapture the form which saw him thrash Mark Williams 10-2 in the opening round.
And as Stevens crumbled under the pressure from chasing the game, O’Sullivan punished his opponent dominating the next three frames to take a huge 12-4 lead.
And Robertson, who lost out in the semi-finals last year, showed he was more than capable of going all the way this time round as he closed in on victory.
Leading 6-2 from Saturday’s opening session Robertson was pegged back early on by Carter but the Australian took full control winning the next five frames.
However, Carter though showed terrific fight in the final two frames of the session winning them both to stay alive. But he is still left with an awful amount to do to be in with a chance of causing an upset.