RONNIE O’SULLIVAN set a new world record as he cruised into the semi-finals of the Dafabet Masters with a 6-0 defeat of Ricky Walden at Alexandra Palace on Friday.
O’Sullivan made breaks of 79, 88, 72, 134, 77 and 56 and racked up 556 points without reply, breaking the old record of 495 set by Ding Junhui against Stephen Hendry in the 2007 Premier League.
“I felt that I was controlling the white ball, my potting my good, my safety was OK and my scoring was good, so it’s tough to play,” said O’Sullivan, after wrapping up victory in just under 58 minutes.
“I didn’t know about the record. It was one of those matches where everything I touched turned to gold so I can’t argue with that. It was a good match and I played well.
“I’ve had a few performances I’ve put in where I’ve played about as well as you can, and that was up there. They don’t come along all the time. My standard is pretty decent most of the time but every now again you can put in a performance and you’re even excited about it yourself.”
Walden entered the interval with a pot success rate of 100% despite not potting a ball after the first frame.
O’Sullivan’s long red launched his 79 break in the opener and his tight safety play kept Walden cold.
Each time O’Sullivan got in he killed the frames off, with his 134 total clearance in the fourth frame a particular highlight.
The crowd, which included 1984 Masters champion Jimmy White, lapped up every minute, with the only disappointment that it was over so quickly.
“I didn’t get a look in until I was 5-0 and 56-0 down. It was the one and only time I saw a shot," Walden said.
“That’s the first time I played in a match where my opponent was unplayable. There’s not a lot you can do about that. If he carries on playing like that he’ll win every tournament he plays in for the rest of his life."
O’Sullivan plays the winner of tonight’s last quarter-final between Neil Robertson and Stephen Maguire.
Photographs by Monique Limbos.