Ronnie O’Sullivan is through to the quarter-finals of the UK Championship after he dramatically came back from behind to beat Thailand’s Sunny Akani in one of the matches of the season.
O’Sullivan’s 22-year-old opponent put in a superb performance in his biggest ever match – a display which shone him and his talent on the world stage for the first time.
And Akani was just a few pots away from clinching a memorable victory against his idol. While leading 5-4, Akani just needed the final colours to seal the match but was unlucky after he cannoned the blue off the bottom cushion into the pocket just after potting the green.
The unfortunate error led to O’Sullivan winning the frame and forcing a decider in which he dominated to clinch a battling 6-5 win.
But despite O’Sullivan’s win all the talk after was about the 22-year-old who O’Sullivan said after the match had a great future ahead of him.
Bookies favourite for the UK title O’Sullivan will next face Martin Gould who also came back from behind to beat China’s Xiao Guodong 6-4.
The top of the draw sees Welshman Ryan Day take on Mark Joyce after Last 16 wins against Li Hang and Lyu Hoatian respectively.
Shaun Murphy will be hoping to win the UK Championship for a second time following his first triumph in 2008. He reached the quarter-finals in fine style thrashing Ricky Walden 6-1.
This season’s Champion of Champions winner will next face Mark King who won an enthralling encounter against John Higgins.
And the other quarter-final sees a resurgent Stephen Maguire taking on Joe Perry. Both players have found form this week with Maguire hoping to win the UK Championship for a second time after bursting onto the scene with the trophy in 2004.