Ronnie O’Sullivan cruised into the third round of the Welsh Open after a convincing 4-1 win over Norwich-based Barry Pinches on Tuesday night.
The reigning world champion fell just short of a maximum break in the opening frame as he missed the 14th red, rattling the jaws of the pocket in the process.
The Chigwell-based star won a scrappy second frame, before Pinches hit back in the third with a break of 67 to make it 2-1.
’Rocket’ Ronnie was soon showing his class though, and completed the scoring with breaks of 50 and 58 to seal the victory.
The two-time Welsh Open champion was full of praise for his opponent.
“I know what a class player Barry is, he beat me in the final of a PTC tournament a couple of years ago,” O’Sullivan told worldsnooker.com.
“I would have liked to have made the 147 for the fans.”
The Englishman now faces a tough challenge of playing China’s Xiao Gudong but will surely be in confident mood after his recent fine displays.
He said: “Xiao is a good player; I have practiced with him a lot. He is breaking through to the top 16 now and it will be a tough match for me.”
In the previous round O’Sullivan beat Mitchell Travis 4-1 and vowed there was more to come from him having only played “three or four hours” in the last month.
"I was a bit rusty there, although I played OK, I wasn't sharp because I haven't really picked my cue up since the Masters.
"I have only really played about three or four hours in a month.
"Mitchell beat Marco Fu at the UK Championship so I'm just pleased to get through.
"I like to win every tournament that I play in so will be trying my hardest. Now I have a few days to get some practice to sharpen my game up.
"I need to have a good run in this because I have not entered the China Open or the Haikou World Open and I wasn't in the German Masters, although I am going to play in the Players Championship."