Ronnie O'Sullivan into last 16 of English Open after beating Matthew Stevens

Ronnie O'Sullivan is currently the man in form
Ronnie O'Sullivan is currently the man in form

Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Matthew Stevens 4-1 in less than two hours to cruise into the last 16 at the English Open.

Seeking to defend the title he won in scintillating fashion last year, O'Sullivan looked to be in the sort of form which would make him extremely hard to beat as he swatted aside his Welsh opponent.

Breaks of 75 in the first frame and 60 in what proved to be the last were far away from Wednesday's maximum, but O'Sullivan breezed round the table in a manner which suggested he means business.

Next for O'Sullivan will be a clash with Eden Sharav, who beat Craig Steadman 4-0 in one of the more convincing wins from the morning session.

Ryan Day beat Mark King 4-2 and will face Judd Trump, after he battled back from 2-0 down to beat Jack Lisowski 4-2.

Day, who enjoyed a superb 2017 season, signed off with a 121 break, rattling off three frames in succession from 2-1 down.

John Higgins is also through, beating Martin Gould 4-1 as his progress continued despite complaints of a lack of motivation earlier in the week.

Next for Higgins is a clash with Mark Davis who was also a fairly easy winner, albeit in a low-quality game as he beat Mei Xi Wen 4-2.

Shaun Murphy was dumped out by Robert Milkins, whose 4-1 victory earned him a clash with Noppon Saengkham.

The Thai had earlier registered two centuries in a 4-1 victory over Yuan SiJun.

Stephen Maguire beat Jordan Brown 4-2 and will face Zhou Yuelong, who beat Mark Williams 4-3 in a nip-and-tuck encounter.

Daniel Wells caused one of the bigger upsets of the afternoon, recovering from 2-0 and 3-1 down to beat Barry Hawkins 4-3.

He'll face Ali Carter, who beat Matthew Selt 4-1, a 103 break putting the seal on a regulation victory.

Neil Robertson signed off with a century in a 4-1 victory over Alan McManus.

The Australian, who lost at the quarter-final stage last year to Anthony McGill, had few moments of concern against McManus and capped off a one-sided win with successive breaks of 62, 66 and 102.

A rematch with McGill was denied by Luo Honghao, who beat the Scot 4-2, while Ricky Walden ended Ben Woollaston's run by taking the decider in a 4-3 success.

Stuart Bingham had won his first two matches without conceding a frame, but on Thursday had to fight back from 3-2 down to beat Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 4-3.

The former world champion opened up the match with a 131 break and soon led 2-0, before the Thai ran up three frames in succession.

Bingham steadied himself, though, to clinch the decider for the loss of a single point.

The fourth round was due to begin at 1900 BST on Thursday evening.

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