Big guns misfire in Daqing as O’Sullivan and Robertson make early exits in surprise defeats
Five-time world champion O’Sullivan loses to Michael Holt as Robertson is well beaten by Joe Perry
Two former world champions were dumped out in the third round of the big-money International Championship in Daqing, Heilongjiang province on Wednesday when Ronnie O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson were surprise losers.
O’Sullivan’s hopes of a season’s best showing were cut short by compatriot Michael Holt, who prevailed 6-4.
The maverick Englishman had claimed earlier this week that he was no longer of a level to compete with the best in the world, and his showing on Wednesday did little to scotch that appraisal as he trailed throughout against the 27th seeded Holt.
“I think the main thing about facing Ronnie is not letting him effect how you play,” Holt told WorldSnooker.com. “If you can do that then you’ve got a great chance.
“I’ve got Stuart Bingham next who will be tough as well. It doesn’t really bother me who I’m playing. I just have to go out there and play the balls, then hopefully I’ll win.”
Australian Robertson was a surprise casualty of Joe Perry going down 6-2 to the 42-year-old Englishman.
Tenth seed Perry will now face reigning world champion Mark Selby, who booked his place in the last eight with a hard-fought 6-5 win over China’s Liang Wenbo.
Selby led 4-1 before the Chinese reeled off three straight frames to take the lead. But the Leicester cueman responded emphatically sealing the win with a break of 69.
Elsewhere, Stuart Bingham overcame Ali Carter 6-1 to set up a quarter-final match with Holt.
Chinese number one Ding Junhui booked his place with a nervy 6-5 win over England’s Ricky Walden. He will face John Higgins who beat Zhou Yuelong of China 6-2.
Shaun Murphy will face Judd Trump, who defeated Sam Baird and James Wattana respectively.