English Open day three review: Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Yuan Sijun but Stuart Bingham crashes out

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan

A review of the action on the third day of the English Open as Ronnie O'Sullivan staged a remarkable comeback to see off Chinese sensation Yuan Sijun in Crawley.


The Rocket takes off in Crawley

Ronnie O'Sullivan came from 3-1 behind to beat Yuan Sijun in a thrilling second-round match on Wednesday.

All eyes were on O'Sullivan following his controversial comments in the aftermath of his victory over Jamie O’Neill in round one but it was Sijun who stole the limelight in the early exchanges, stepping in with a well-taken run of 79 in the opening frame after O'Sullivan had lost position following an attempted split into the pack.

Teenage sensation Sijun, who his opponent tipped for stardom last year, continued in the same vein in frame two, putting together an excellent run of 104 to leave O'Sullivan with a 2-0 deficit despite having not missed a pot in anger.

The Rocket was finally afforded some table time in frame three and was up and running thanks to a fine break of 68, one which required precise positional play throughout, but Sijun continued on his merry way when responding with a break of 66 in frame four to put himself within one frame of victory.

With his back to the wall and hopes of a 37th ranking title seemingly slipping away, O'Sullivan managed to produce the type of brilliance under pressure that we have become so accustomed to, reeling off breaks of 81 and 84 to quickly turn the match on its head and draw level at 3-3.

As Sijun started to feel the pinch, O'Sullivan pounced like the great predator he is, potting a classy opening red when badly hampered after Sijun had missed a guilt-edged opener before meticulously working his way towards the last 32, a break of 87 enough to break Sijun's fine resistance at the end of a terrific tussle.

O'Sullivan told Eurosport afterwards: "I had to battle there, nothing really went right for me.

"He's a very, very good player and if anyone's going to do well out of some of the youngsters, he's probably one of the guys.

"He played well. I didn't really do a lot wrong to go 3-1 down, I was just a bit rusty really.

"I haven't played for five months but this tournament and the next one and maybe I should be alright.

"I needed a match like that."

Shaun Murphy is also through after beating world number 51 Sunny Akani 4-1.

Bingham falls in title defence

Stuart Bingham's title defence is over after he suffered a shock 4-1 defeat at the hands of Chinese rookie Si Jiahui.

Bingham had hoped for the return to Crawley to ignite his slow start to the new season but he was always on the back foot in this second-round encounter, Jiahui dominating from the moment he took a scrappy opening frame.

A break of 85 helped the 17-year-old double his lead and he quickly added the third frame before a run of 85 in frame four allowed Bingham to stop the rot on what was an otherwise forgettable morning for the veteran.

Jiahui needed two bites of cherry to wrap up the proceedings in frame five but having not been punished by Bingham when missing a red to the green pocket, he finished with a classy run of 68 to book his place in the last 32.

Mei Xi Wen and Xiao Guodong enjoyed similarly comfortable mornings as they whitewashed Li Hang and Brandon Sargeant respectively.

Gilbert eases past Davies; Wilson though

17-year-old Ryan Davies endured a tough baptism of fire as he was routed 4-0 by Gilbert.

Gilbert edged a tight opening frame but dominated thereafter, putting together breaks of 130, 88, and 136 to continue his impressive form in Crawley so far.

Tom Ford and Matthew Selt also enjoyed routine passages to the third round but Kyren Wilson was made to work much harder despite posting breaks of 76, 67, 72 and 65 in his 4-3 defeat of Bai Langning.

Robertson fights off Fu

Marco Fu's comeback looks to be gathering pace but he found Neil Robertson too hot to handle, eventually losing a hard-fought match 4-2.

Having taken the opening frame with a break of 75, Robertson had to watch on as Fu responded with a run a 90 before the Australian hit straight back with another sizeable contribution, this time of 50.

The first century of the match quickly followed as Robertson moved into a 3-1 lead and although Fu rallied again by winning the next frame, Robertson dominated frame six to seal his place in the next round.

Selby on song but Williams crashes out

Two former world champions enjoyed contrasting fortunes as Mark Selby eased past Martin O'Donnell 4-1 but Mark Williams was humbled 4-1 by Michael Holt.

Selby rattled off breaks of 77, 63 and 71 in a match that was a good deal closer than the final scoreline would suggest while Holt won four frames on the spin against a below-par Williams.

Elsewhere in the afternoon session, there were wins for Kurt Maflin and Hossein Vafaei.

Whitewashes for Trump and Allen

Reigning world champion Judd Trump looked to have his game in good working order as he whitewashed Daniel Wells 4-0, breaks of 108 and 90 in frames two and three doing the damage as the world number one enjoyed a comfortable evening.

Mark Allen was another to enjoy an early finish, his 4-0 defeat of Andy Lee featuring breaks of 50, 79 and 86 from the Northern Irishman.

Barry Hawkins, Jack Lisowski, Gary Wilson and Graeme Dott were other big names to make it through to the last 32.

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