Seven-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Ding Junhui 6-0 at UK Championship

Ronnie O’Sullivan was whitewashed for the first time in a Triple Crown event when he lost 6-0 to Ding Junhui in the quarter-finals of the UK Championship.

World champion O’Sullivan, 46, was favorite to win the tournament in York for the eighth time, but never shot after a narrow two-frame opening.

The Englishman scored just four points in the next four frames as three-time UK Championship winner Ding dominated.

“Ding is a class act and I’d love to see him go and win now,” said O’Sullivan.

China’s Ding sealed his place in the semi-finals with a break of 131 after previously compiled runs of 94, 87 and 87. He will meet Tom Ford after the world number 32 defeated Joe Perry 6-4.

Jack Lisowski is also through to the semi-finals after beating former world champion Shaun Murphy 6-1.

He will face Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen, who came back from 4-2 down to beat Sam Craigie 6-4.

Earlier in the week, O’Sullivan had said he was not under pressure and snooker was “unimportant” to him, comments that were criticized by fellow quarterfinalist Murphy.

O’Sullivan, who has won a total of 21 Triple Crown events – with seven wins also in the World Championship and Masters, didn’t seem too concerned about scoring against qualifier Ding.

“Yeah, that’s really going to hurt my career, isn’t it?” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“I’ve been playing this game for 30 years and I’ve taken some hits along the way. Like I said, I don’t care.

“Some days you play and it goes great and some days you don’t. It was just one of those days, what can you do?”

The result continued a series of shocks in the tournament and means none of the top 10 seeds will be in the semifinals.

O’Sullivan looked a total mess – summed up by a missed black mark out of place in the opening frame.

“I’m not surprised because my bad has been better than other people’s, I’ve been saying that all week,” added O’Sullivan.

“I’ve had a good run so I can’t complain and now have some free time.

“Ding played fantastically well. It’s great to see Ding play like that and I wish he played like that more because he’s so good for the game.”

Three-time British champion Ding has dropped to 38 in the world rankings, but O’Sullivan believes he is better suited for the bigger occasions.

“Ding doesn’t thrive in the smaller venues with no crowds. You don’t put a racehorse in some grubby old track – that’s not going to get the best out of it,” he said.

Ding, 35, said: “I played well, got my chances and was a bit lucky.

“It’s hard to play Ronnie, I know if I’m up front he can come back very quickly. But today he didn’t look like he could.”

Perry, 48, had breaks of 101, 70 and 66, but Ford, 39, triumphed with runs of 103, 86, 66, 62 and a match-winning 52 to reach his first UK semi-final since 2018.

Ford took victory in the 10th frame after losing the previous frame when he missed a straight red, which would have effectively sealed the win.

Liswoski, 31, is in the semifinals of a Triple Crown event for the first time in his career. He tied a record four consecutive centuries in the game – he is only the eighth player to earn four tons in a row in a professional tournament.

However, Murphy was unable to repeat his exploits from the previous day when he overcame chronic neck pain to beat Judd Trump.

“Every time I made a little mistake, I had to sit down and admire the prodigious talent that poured out of this young man that we’ve seen coming for a long time,” he said.

“Maybe this could be his week.”

If it’s Lisowski’s week, he’ll have to beat Allen first, who reached his fifth UK Championship semi-final by beating Craigie.

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