Ronnie O’Sullivan advanced to the third round of the Welsh Open, but his 4-0 win over his great friend Jimmy White will not live long in the memory banks.
The world champion was in sublime form in his first-round win over Robbie Williams, but there was little of that fluency on display early on as both players struggled for form.
O'Sullivan's highest break in the opening two frames was 40, but he knocked in a 70 in the third and White had no answer.
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O'Sullivan's performance could have been impacted by playing someone he is so close to, but he will need to up his level if he is to win his first tournament of the season.
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White will come off the table with a sense of regret, as he had chances in every frame but his highest break of the match was 20 and he had a pot-success rate of 75%.
The opening frame was extremely scrappy, as both players had chances and a break of 42 from O’Sullivan ultimately proved the difference despite White being in control for long spells of the frame and had his opponent in trouble with a couple of evil snookers.
There were winces, grimaces and sighs of frustration from both players, while there was a light-hearted moment in the second when White produced a jaw-dropping fluke.
White had chances but was unable to take them and the second frame went the same way as the first.
White lays two ‘evil’ snookers, O’Sullivan escapes both
There were brighter signs from O’Sullivan in the third and fourth frames, with breaks of 70 and 65 sealing the win - but once again it was a story of White missing chances.
Ronnie O'Sullivan wraps up impressive win over Jimmy White
For O'Sullivan, he has advanced to the third round without losing a frame so far in the event, but he will need to find the level of his win over Williams in round one if he is to mount a title challenge.
Mark Williams showed excellent table craft in his 4-1 win over Liam Highfield.
There was nothing outstanding in terms of break building, but he tied Highfield in knots and remains on course in his bid to honour Doug Mountjoy and win the Welsh Open.
Mark Selby made breaks of 81 and 67, but it was largely turgid stuff in his 4-1 win over Jamie O'Neill, while Masters champion Yan Bingtao disposed of Brian Ochoiski 4-0 with the minimum of fuss. In closing out the match, Yan scored 295 points without reply.
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