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Ronnie O’Sullivan full of praise for Soheil Vahedi after 56-minute whitewash at Welsh Open
Ronnie O’Sullivan was full of praise for Soheil Vahedi after battering him 4-0 in just 56 minutes in the Welsh Open fourth round.
The Rocket was in fine form on Thursday evening as he swatted aside the Iranian in under an hour.
O’Sullivan made his first century of the tournament, a superb 131 in the third frame, en route to setting up a quarter-final clash with old foe Mark Selby on Friday afternoon.
Vahedi made a break of 55 in the second frame but was otherwise limited to almost no table time as the five-time world champion romped to victory.
It has been a good tournament for the world number 115, though, with impressive wins over Jack Liswoski and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh to make the last 16 and O’Sullivan had some kind words for his opponent after dispatching him.
‘He’s improved a lot. He was a bit more comfortable out there, has got a good technique and hits the ball well,’ said O’Sullivan.
‘He hit some really good pots out there and has had some great results in this tournament, so good for him – he travels over from Iran and it’s not easy for the guys that have to do that.
‘It’s hard for everybody, but it’s double, triple hard for him, so it’s nice to see him get a few results, but luckily he didn’t perform to his good standards tonight.’
O’Sullivan is now just one win away from booking his spot at the Players Championship by reaching the top 16 on the one-year rankings list.
Victory over Vahedi took him to number 17 and if he can beat Selby in Cardiff then he will leapfrog Gary Wilson into the coveted number 16 spot with just one tournament left before the cut-off.
The Players Championship carries a whopping top prize of £125,000 and is crucial preparation ahead of the World Championship, with the best 16 players in the world this season involved.
The Rocket won the event last year and is keen to be involved again in the new Southport venue.
O’Sullivan vs Selby (on at midday) is one of four superb quarter-finals in Cardiff on Friday, with Judd Trump facing Shaun Murphy, John Higgins taking on Yan Bingtao and Neil Robertson facing Kyren Wilson.
Selby beat the Rocket at this stage of the Scottish Open in December and is looking forward to the chance to repeat that success: ‘Whenever you play Ronnie at any tournament it is always a great game and a great occasion. It was a good game at the Scottish Open,’ said the Jester from Leicester.