Perfect start for Ronnie O’Sullivan at UK Championship in York

Ronnie O'Sullivan in action at York.
Ronnie O'Sullivan in action at York.
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Defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan cruised into the third round of the UK Championship in York with a second successive 6-0 victory as he swept past Tian Pengfei.

The Rocket again lived up to his billing at the Barbican Centre, where O’Sullivan is out to secure a third straight tournament success.

The crowds wait for the doors to open before day four of the Betway UK Championship at the York Barbican.

The crowds wait for the doors to open before day four of the Betway UK Championship at the York Barbican.

Having seen off 18-year-old Ross Bulman in just 66 minutes, the world number two was in no mood to hang around against his Chinese opponent, taking a 4-0 lead into the mid-session interval.

O’Sullivan chalked up a century break of 106 as he polished off the remaining two frames needed for another comprehensive victory.

The seven-time tournament winner is enjoying his latest trip to York after strolling into the last 32.

“It’s my favourite city in the UK. I always tell people you know they must come to York and experience it,” O’Sullivan said in an interview with World Snooker.

“Cambridge is great too, but I just give York the nudge. It’s great to be here and the coffee’s good.

“I love the coffee shops here, so it’s great to be able to go relax, I can go sit down, get my computer out and just study, look into some of the stuff I am interested in and enjoy the surroundings which is important.”

O’Sullivan feels he is getting back into the groove on the table.

“It was nice (today) and I am just happy to be competing at the moment,” he said.

“I’m always playing catch up in terms of when I hit my kind of optimal level if you like so for me to be at this stage now, I feel like I’m kind of into the season. But whether you can win (titles) is another matter.”

Next up for O’Sullivan will be Noppon Saengkham after the Thai player beat Scotland’s Anthony McGill 6-3.

Elsewhere in Saturday’s afternoon matches, Mark King defeated China’s Lyu Haotian 6-1, while Stuart Bingham, world champion in 2015, scored three century breaks as he beat Martin Gould 6-4.

World number nine Kyren Wilson was edged out 6-5 by Hong Kong’s Marco Fu, while Li Hang came through 6-4 in the all-China match against Xiao Guodong.

Welshman Matthew Stevens - winner of the tournament in 2003 - hit an early break of 135 as he beat compatriot Ryan Day 6-5.

Ian Burns also needed a deciding frame to get past Michael Holt.

Leeds’s David Grace faces China’s Liang Wenbo in the second round on Sunday evening.