Ronnie O’Sullivan to treat himself after scrappy Masters quarter-final success

By Sports Desk January 11, 2024

Ronnie O’Sullivan relished the prospect of a “massive, dirty curry” after grinding out a 6-3 win over Barry Hawkins in a Masters quarter-final that lacked spice.

The seven-times winner looked under the weather as he wore a thick coat for his post-match TV interview, muttering: “I fancy a curry – a massive, dirty curry. There’s nothing I don’t like.”

In a match awash with errors from both players, O’Sullivan kicked off with a break of 88 but had to wait until the penultimate frame to post his next half-century, a 60 to move one frame from victory.

Despite riding his luck early on, Hawkins will seldom have a better chance of improving his dismal record against O’Sullivan, having lost 17 of their previous 20 clashes, including a 10-1 thrashing in the 2016 Masters final.

Hawkins, an impressive winner of Neil Robertson in the last 16, could have been 4-0 down at the interval but instead went in all-square after being handed a series of uncharacteristic chances by the world number one.

A missed pink in the second allowed Hawkins to level, and Hawkins was not punished for a rash, missed yellow in the fourth as he somehow made it 2-2 at the interval.

A missed blue, among a number of others, from O’Sullivan gave Hawkins the chance to nudge ahead for the first time at 3-2, but Hawkins failed to take a series of opportunities to establish a two-frame lead.

A horrendous miscue from O’Sullivan, in which he missed the pink completely, was greeted with a sigh of exasperation but Hawkins missed the same ball at a stretch with the spider to let the favourite back in.

Worse was to follow from both players with O’Sullivan emerging on top after a catalogue of errors in frame seven, before wrapping things up to book a last-four clash with either Shaun Murphy or Jack Lisowski.

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