Murphy to take on O’Sullivan

Australia’s Neil Robertson booked his place in the quarterfinals of this year’s World Championships with a 13-7 win over Mark Allen on Monday only to barely miss out on a notable landmark. The world No. 1 was left stranded on 99 competitive century breaks for the season, with Robertson still one shy of becoming the first man to compile 100 hundreds in a single tour campaign.

Melbourne-born Robertson, the 2010 world champion, resumed with an overnight 9-7 lead and then made breaks of 59 and 69 to pull further in front against his Northern Irish opponent.

Remarkably, Robertson succumbed to something akin to cricket’s ‘nervous nineties’ in the next two frames when he missed pots after recording breaks of 94 and 92 respectively, although both those efforts were more than enough to be frame-winners.

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry was in the commentary box and Robertson, who long ago surpassed Judd Trump’s record of 63 hundreds in a tour season, was disappointed not to have reached his 100th century in front of the Scottish snooker great.

“I was gutted because Hendry was in the commentary box as well and I would have loved to do it with him in there,” Robertson said.

Robertson will play Trump in the last eight after the Englishman defeated Wales’s Ryan Day 13-7.

Former champion Shaun Murphy will take on title-holder Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last eight after completing a 13-8 win over Hong Kong’s Marco Fu. Resuming at 9-7, 2005 world champion Murphy won the first three frames of Monday’s evening session before Fu halted his chance with a break of 92 only for the Englishman to win the next and set up a clash with O’Sullivan, bidding for a sixth world title.

Earlier on Monday, Wales’s Dominic Dale took the frame he needed to secure a 13-4 win over Michael Wasley, the shock first-round conqueror of China’s Ding Junhui. Dale will play Barry Hawkins, last year’s losing finalist, in the quarterfinals, with the remaining last-eight tie seeing veteran Alan McManus up against Mark Selby.

Second round results (all England unless specified): Shaun Murphy bt Marco Fu (HK) 13-8, Judd Trump bt Ryan Day (WAL) 13-7, Dominic Dale (WAL) bt Michael Wasley 13-4, Neil Robertson (AUS) bt Mark Allen (NIR) 13-7, Alan McManus (SCO) bt Ken Doherty (IRE) 13-8, Barry Hawkins bt Ricky Walden 13-11, Ronnie O’Sullivan bt Joe Perry 13-11, Mark Selby bt Allister Carter 13-9.

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