Ronnie O’Sullivan laughed off one of the heaviest defeats of his career after he was thrashed 6-0 by Ding Junhui in the quarter finals of the UK Championship.
World number one O’Sullivan was whitewashed in a Triple Crown event for the first time in his 30-year career and scored just four points in the final four frames.
Ding punished O’Sullivan for several mistakes in the opening two close-fought frames and from 2-0 up, the Chinese world number 38 never looked back.
The 35-year-old compiled successive breaks of 88, 94, 87 and 131 in each of the next four frames to edge closer to the £250,000 winner’s prize and his fourth UK crown after winning the event in 2005, 2009 and 2019.
‘Yeah, that’s really going to harm my career that one isn’t it?” he told BBC Radio 5 Live afterwards. ‘I’ve been in this game 30 years and taken some knocks along the way. Like I said, it doesn’t matter to me.
‘Some days you play and it goes great and some days it doesn’t. It was just one of those days, what can you do?
‘I’m not surprised because my bad has been better than other people’s bad, I’ve said that all week,” added O’Sullivan.
‘I’ve had a good run, so I can’t complain and I get some time off now.
‘Ding played fantastically well. It’s brilliant to see Ding play like that and I wish he played like that more because he’s so good for the game.’
Ding, meanwhile, will play Tom Ford in Saturday afternoon’s semi-final after the world number 32 beat Joe Perry 6-4 in his quarter-final.
‘I played well, I got my chances and had a bit of luck,’ said Ding.
‘It’s difficult to play Ronnie, I know when I’m in front he can come back very quickly. But today he didn’t look like he could do it.’
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