Ronnie O'Sullivan is into the quarter finals of the European Open after defeating Chris Small 5-1 at the Hilton Conference Centre in Malta today. O'Sullivan was given a tough test by determined Scot Chris Small but clinched a 5-1 victory.

"Chris made me work hard but I was just enjoying the struggle," he said. "This week I've passed a big examination. I've surprised myself and I'm delighted with the way things are working out."

O'Sullivan fell behind in each of the first three frames but breaks of 58, 81 and 46 helped give him a 3-0 lead. Runs of 32 and 49 made it 4-0 and although he fell 50 points behind in the fifth with only the last four colours remaining, he played on for snookers.

"I just wanted to hit some balls even though I had no chance of winning the frame," he said. "I wanted to keep playing because I was enjoying it so much."

O'Sullivan eventually clinched a place in the quarter-finals with a break of 112 in the sixth.

In this morning's other match Stephen Lee ended Steve Davis' participation with a 5-3 win.

Filed by Johnny Proby