UK Championship review: Ronnie O'Sullivan defeats Noppon Saengkham

A review of the action on day seven of the UK Championship as Ronnie O'Sullivan booked his place in the last 16 with a 6-2 defeat of Noppon Saengkham.

Ronnie marches on in York

Ronnie O'Sullivan's quest for an eighth UK Championship title continues apace after he brushed past Noppon Saengkham in a scrappy affair on Tuesday afternoon, winning 6-2.

Saengkham is sure to look back on the match with regret having spurned a number of good chances to take control of proceedings but a host of unforced errors, particularly when in the balls, allowed O'Sullivan to pinch frames when a long way behind, something that would ultimately prove decisive.

The opening frame was to be template for the whole match, Saengkham in first with a fluent run of 54 before breaking down and allowing O'Sullivan to counter in typically ruthless fashion.

To his credit, Saengkham hit straight back to level the scores but when O'Sullivan won the next two frames, the first with a break of 76 before stealing frame four when Saengkham had looked sure to level the scores, the writing was on the wall.

More missed opportunities from Saengkham upon returning from the mid-session interval allowed O'Sullivan to extend his lead to 4-1 before he missed a tricky red along the bottom cushion in frame six when looking sure to pick his opponent's pocket once more.

Saengkham duly took his chance to get back into the match but that setback only spurred O'Sullivan on, the defending champion producing a polished run of 97 in frame seven before adding a break of 65 in frame eight, though Saengkham again fluffed his lines late in the piece when offered the chance to produce a counter attack of his own.

O'Sullivan told BBC Sport: "It was hard to play him [Saengkham] to be honest because it was attention all pockets.

"You have to start trying to enjoy it and just hope it can't go on during the whole match.

"I've got a really bad foot but I'm just hopeful I can play in my next match because I'm hobbling about. I've had it [injury] had for so long now - my back gets sore and my foot is in agony.

"I'll just take some painkillers, get some ice on it and hopefully I'll be ok to play."

Reflecting on Judd Trump's shock exit to the hands of veteran Nigel Bond a day earlier, O'Sullivan was keen to pay tribute to the world number one for the season he has already enjoyed and the success he has achieved in recent months.

He added: "It's very hard to continue winning and travelling from one place to the next - playing a final on Sunday and then playing on Monday.

"It's an unbelievable schedule. I think he deserves a medal for being as strong as he is and getting the results he's got.

"If anyone can defy the odds it's probably Judd because he's an inspiration and finds magic from somewhere but even he probably felt yesterday that whatever he did wasn't going to come right - that's just the nature of sport."

Ding resists Carter comeback

Ding Junhui held off a typically dogged comeback from Ali Carter to win 6-4.

Ding had breezed into a 4-0 lead at the mid-session interval thanks to breaks of 64, 104, 52 and 59 but Carter returned from the break in defiant mood and reduced his arrears to 4-2 thanks contributions of 100 and 85.

When Ding responded with a run of 71, he found himself on the cusp of victory but Carter would not go down without a fight and managed to win two more frames on the bounce to get within touching distance.

However, Ding had struck the ball sweetly all afternoon and finished the match in style, a flawless break of 116 finally closing the door on Carter's brave fight.

Elsewhere, former champion Stephen Maguire made short work of Graeme Dott, running out a comfortable 6-2 winner, while Liang Wenbo defeated Eden Sharav 6-4.


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