Saengkham missed crucial chances to go 4-2 up when he appeared to be in control, and O’Sullivan punished him as he advanced to the final eight for the 18th time in this event. On Friday, he’ll face Kyren Wilson.

Saengkham defeated Stuart Bingham earlier this week, posing a strong threat to O’Sullivan’s attempt to win the tournament for the seventh time. The Thai won the first frame, then world number three O’Sullivan sealed the win at 1-1 with a 76-break. Saengkham recovered the lead with an 83, but O’Sullivan’s 98 tied the game at 2-2 at halftime.

Saengkham was behind 57-6 in frame five when he converted a stunning long pot on a red that was close to a side cushion, setting him up for a 59 clearance and his third victory.

In the sixth, the world number 45 had many great chances to expand his lead, most notably missing the third final red to the top corner when he led 48-14. The frame came down to the colours, and Saengkham’s missing yellow allowed O’Sullivan to clear and tie the game at 3-3.

With high breaks of 74 and 120, O’Sullivan won the final three frames in 29 minutes.

“I was suffering at 3-2 down and nearly gave up,” O’Sullivan told BBC Sport. However, I dug in and kept putting in the effort. I should have been 4-2 down, but when I won that frame, something snapped in my head, and I was back on my feet.

“I get nervous with butterflies.” Every match puts me under pressure; all I can do is try to disguise it by staying cool and comfortable. Even the greats are under strain; I’ve heard of some of them passing out in the dressing room before a show. That may not be the case in team sports, but snooker is a difficult game.

I prefer watching snooker and talking about it more than actually playing it. But I have to force myself to get a bit more juice out of playing. It’s going to end at some point, but I’ll get as much out of it as I can. I used to hate watching it, but once you start doing punditry, you start to enjoy it and get excited. I play for a hobby, not for a job. ”

O’Sullivan won the championship for the first time 28 years ago, and he will be 46 on Sunday, the day of the final. “I no longer believe my best is better than everyone else’s,” he continued. Will that make me feel at ease? Winning isn’t everything. That’s enough for me if I can be the top 46-year-old and compete with Higgins, Williams, and others in that category. It’ll only be a matter of time until the younger players begin to dominate competitions.

I’m comfortable with losing and still having a smile on my face. Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis couldn’t accept that, while Jimmy White and I are fascinated by the game and just enjoy playing it. ”

With a 6-4 victory over Peter Lines, Zhao Xintong qualified for the quarterfinals. Zhao, 24, of China, seized a 4-1 lead with a 122-top break. Yorkshireman Lines fought back to tie the game at 4-4, only for his opponent to win the following two games with runs of 92 and 67.

Zhao, ranked 26th in the world, is continuing his finest run in this event, having never advanced past the final 32 before. Jack Lisowski is his next opponent.

Zhao, who is based in Sheffield, said: “It was a very difficult match because Peter is a great player.” When I was 4-1 up, I thought I would win quickly, then he came back at me. I was under a lot of pressure at 4-4, but I played well for the last two frames. I knew I had to keep my style and pot balls. I knew if I played slowly I would lose the game. It’s a very important win for me. It will give me more confidence if I win the tournament. ”

Also Read:- Ronnie O’Sullivan beats Mark King to reach the UK Championship Face Noppon Saengkham in the fourth round


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