Ronnie O’Sullivan got his season off to a winning start as he produced some spell-bounding snooker in his opening match of the Shanghai Masters.
The five-times world champion beat Australian Neil Robertson 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the new invitational event.
The highlight of the match came in the third frame when O’Sullivan produced a sensational long pot on the deciding final black to take a 3-0 lead early into the second round contest.
This was O’Sullivan’s first competitive match since he was knocked out of the World Championship in a shock defeat to Ali Carter back in April.
Robertson came back into it winning two of the next three frames but the defending champion ensured a quarter-final encounter with Stuart Bingham by winning the further two frames he needed for the match.
Elsewhere, this year’s world champion Mark Williams progressed into the last eight after breaks of 52, 89, 61, 103 and 61 helped the Welshman to a 6-3 win over Anthony McGill.
Williams, who already has lifted silverware this season by winning the World Open, will next face Barry Hawkins in a repeat of their epic World Championship semi-final four months ago.
And another Welshman celebrated success after coming out on top in a thrilling encounter against John Higgins, winning a final frame thriller.
Ryan Day made a superb start before Higgins – who reached the World Championship final earlier this year – battled back to lead the match 4-3.
But Day, winner of last season’s Riga Masters, Gibraltar Open and Romanian Masters, fought back and won the match with a break of 87 in the final frame.
The quarter final draw is as follows.
Shanghai Masters 2018 – Quarter Final Draw
Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Stuart Bingham
Kyren Wilson vs Ryan Day
Mark Selby vs Ding Junhui
Barry Hawkins vs Mark Williams
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