Ronnie O’Sullivan promises he will “come for more” as the Masters progresses

Ronnie O’Sullivan revealed his hunger for a record eighth Masters title after beating Luca Brecel 6-1 to reach the last eight at Alexandra Palace.

The 47-year-old has rallied several centuries back, getting on his opponent’s obvious nerves to stay on course for a title he could have claimed for himself but hasn’t won since 2017.

Despite frequent hints of retiring and throwing away his love of the game, O’Sullivan said he felt refreshed and focused, and issued a warning to rivals looking to take his crown.

O’Sullivan told the BBC: “I feel like I’ve got a perspective on life – I’ve spent enough years being disappointed with the game and I thought let’s try not to get disappointed and it freed me up a bit.

“I’m still competitive. If I take on something I want to be better, it’s just natural and I’ll never lose it, so players can expect me to keep coming for more.

The ruthless nature of O’Sullivan’s triumph over the Belgian former UK finalist underlined the degree to which he is eager to extend his dominance at this prestigious event.

After O’Sullivan opened with a break 97, Brecel missed golden opportunities to win each of the next two, losing ground on brown in the second, then going in and out on blue, pocketing an astonishing green from the side cushion with the rest.

Cazoo Masters 2023 - Day Two - Alexandra Palace

Ronnie O’Sullivan scored two centuries in his victory over Luca Brecel (Adam Davy/PA)

O’Sullivan was leading 3-0 and although Brecel responded a hundred years before the half-time break, a lack of focus cost him in the fifth frame when a poor break shot allowed O’Sullivan to score. clearance to black 134.

A missed red inside the next set O’Sullivan in for 104 before completing the win, which will be a clear signal to his title rivals.

“You sense someone is a little nervous and you just pounce on it,” added O’Sullivan. “Whoever you are in any sport, when you play with the best players, they will smell it.

“You don’t have to say you’re under pressure, I can feel it, and if I feel it, I’ll fall on you like a rash.”

Two-time champion John Higgins was eliminated after losing 6-3 to Jack Lisowski, who took his first Masters win on the fourth attempt.

Higgins, the 1999 and 2006 winners, got off to a bad start and was down 2-0 before making up for it by converting 142 – the biggest break in the tournament so far.

The players traded cages before Lisowski’s age gap gave him a 4-2 lead. Higgins had a chance to reduce the advantage to one frame for the third time, but Lisowski was leading 5:2.

A break of 93 in the ninth frame ended the match for Lisowski, who will face Hossein Vafaei from Iran in the quarterfinals.

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