Rocket whitewashes Walden
Updated: Friday, 17 Jan 2014 23:11
Ronnie O'Sullivan produced a flawless display to beat Ricky Walden 6-0 in under an hour and reach the Masters semi-finals.
The 'Rocket' reeled off all six frames in just 59 minutes.
Most remarkably, after Walden had led in the opener after a break of 38, O'Sullivan's frame-winning reply of 79 started a run of 556 points without reply.
That break was sparked by a superb opening red from distance and he followed it up with 88 in the second frame and 72 in the third, the latter after Walden attempted to escape from a snooker and hit the pink.
The frame before the interval was the best of the bunch, a 134 total clearance ensuring an emphatic 4-0 advantage.
And there was no let-up upon the resumption, with 77 to win the first frame back and 56 and 39 in the next to get over the line.
With typical understatement, O'Sullivan told BBC2: "I scored well, I potted some long ones for a change and my safety was okay with a few snookers."
Former world champion turned pundit Ken Doherty described it as "one of the best displays the crowd will have seen here" and sympathised with the outclassed Walden, who scored 39 of the first 40 points but nothing thereafter.
But O'Sullivan said: "That's snooker. I've had it numerous times, when you just sit there as a passenger.
"It can be embarrassing but at some point you just go 'well, this guy's on fire', and it's good to watch sometimes."
O'Sullivan's semi-final opponent will be Stephen Maguire who upset world number one Neil Robertson.
Though no stranger to the business end of tournaments, Maguire was not fancied to topple the Australian - the reigning UK Champion - but did, seeing him off 6-2.
Robertson was never able to get a foothold in the game, barring a comeback from 3-0 down to 3-2, and with Maguire's long potting faultless, he was punished.
Even when he had a chance to keep the match alive in the eighth frame, Robertson's form was summed up when he went in-off after making a regulation pot.