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Ronnie O’Sullivan breaks two more Crucible records as defeating Mark Allen secures a spot in the quarterfinals

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Ronnie O’Sullivan shrugged off two more Crucible records after winning the single frame it took him to complete a 13-4 win over Mark Allen and advance to the quarter-finals of the Snooker World Championship for the 20th time.

O’Sullivan’s 71st career win not only eclipsed the previous best he shared with Stephen Hendry in making the last eight, but also set him apart in the number of games played by a single player won at The Crucible.

Typically, O’Sullivan, who is now the favorite to equal the Scot’s record of seven Crucible crowns next week, repeated his regular claim that he has no interest in most of the praises that keep coming his way.

“It means nothing to me,” O’Sullivan insisted. “Those are not the stats I’m proud of. The ones I’m proud of are the majors and that’s really it.”

O’Sullivan had worked hard in the first two sessions of his game against Allen, making their return on Saturday a formality.

But he insisted that the relatively effortless nature of his victory belied an uphill battle to stay at the top of his game, citing the example of martial arts superstar Bruce Lee.

“It takes a few years of practice and years of dedication and trying to be the best version of yourself that you can be,” O’Sullivan added.

“If you look at Bruce Lee, he’s trained for many hours, not just mentally, but physically. We’re experts in different fields, but I try to approach my sport in a way that’s no different.

“It’s not easy – I’m really struggling with it to be honest. Even when I rolled over everyone in 2012, it wasn’t easy. It’s just about playing to have fun, enjoy it and enjoy every moment even when things aren’t going so well.”

O’Sullivan meets Stephen Maguire in the quarter-finals after the 41-year-old Scot made the most of a loaned cue to withstand a comeback from British champion Zhao Xintong.

Maguire resumed the final session of their match two frames from the win but lost four of the top five on Saturday before sealing a 13-9 win over the seventh Chinese with a break of 59.

Maguire, a two-time semi-finalist who has plummeted to No. 40 in the current world rankings, revealed he took drastic action after being clearly unfazed by his form in a grueling first-round win over Shaun Murphy.

Maguire, who is guaranteed at least £50,000 by reaching the last eight, said: “When I played Shaun I was rubbish and Shaun was worse, so I went back to Glasgow and decided I wasn’t going to come back with that cue because I felt like I didn’t have a chance.

“I borrowed my buddy’s cue and practiced with it for a few days and I liked it and it seems to have paid off. I’ll ask my mate how much he wants for it – hopefully not much.”

Zhao had threatened a rousing comeback after a good start in the final session and could have put more pressure on Maguire in the 22nd frame, only for a missed pink in the middle to effectively end his chances.

“I think I can learn from this experience and next year I will be better,” said Zhao, for whom defeat caps a landmark season that has seen him lift the British and German league titles. “I am confident that one day I will win this tournament.”

https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/snooker/ronnie-osullivan-breaks-two-more-crucible-records-as-win-over-mark-allen-books-quarter-final-spot-41580578.html Ronnie O’Sullivan breaks two more Crucible records as defeating Mark Allen secures a spot in the quarterfinals

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