O’Sullivan edged out by Vafaei in World Open thriller

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O’Sullivan edged out by Vafaei in World Open thriller

“I’m very happy that in the end I get the victory. He’s my hero – just playing against Ronnie O’Sullivan is just a dream come true, never mind winning” Iran’s Hossein Vafaei on beating Ronnie O’Sullivan at the World Open

Last Updated: 21/03/24 7:40pm

Ronnie O'Sullivan edged out by Iran's Hossein Vafaei in final-frame thriller

Ronnie O’Sullivan edged out by Iran’s Hossein Vafaei in final-frame thriller

Iran’s Hossein Vafaei edged out Ronnie O’Sullivan in a thrilling final frame to reach the quarter-finals of the World Open in Yushan.

O’Sullivan fought back from behind on four occasions, the last time with a break of 125, but ran out of position on a break of 62 in the decider.

The world No 1 still looked set to win when he later potted the final red to lead by 26 points, but missed a difficult black along the cushion instead of opting to leave Vafaei snookered on the yellow.

That decision came back to bite the seven-time world champion as he left the yellow over a corner pocket in escaping from a snooker and Vafaei held his nerve to clear the table and secure a 5-4 victory.

Vafaei had earlier missed a simple red on a break of 33 in the decider and told WST.tv: “I’m still shocked how I missed that red to be honest with you.

“I went down (on the shot) so quick so my eyes couldn’t see anywhere. That’s unforgivable and all of sudden the game changed. I thought I was going to lose that.

“I’m very happy that in the end I get the victory. He’s my hero – just playing against Ronnie O’Sullivan is just a dream come true, never mind winning.”

Defending champion Judd Trump, who won the tournament when it was last staged in 2019, also reached the last eight with a 5-3 win over David Lilley, while Barry Hawkins made breaks of 129, 67, 71 and 54 as he reeled off five frames in succession to beat Stephen Maguire 5-1.

In the final match of the morning session, Kyren Wilson made a break of 119 in the deciding frame to beat Ben Woollaston 5-4.

Vafaei will face Ding Junhui in the quarter-finals after the home favourite beat Shaun Murphy 5-3 in a high-quality contest which featured a break over 60 in all eight frames, including three centuries.

Heavy scoring was also the order of the day as Jackson Page beat Mark Selby 5-2 to reach his first ranking-event quarter-final, the Welshman making breaks of 130, 120, 100, 93 and 74.

Former world champion Neil Robertson got in on the act as he made breaks of 140, 109, 122 and 91 to beat Chris Wakelin 5-1, while Elliot Slessor defeated Daniel Wells 5-2.

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