International Championship: O'Sullivan defeated by Holt again

International Championship: O'Sullivan defeated by Holt again

The Rocket had exclaimed that he is "not good enough to match the top players in the World" earlier in the week.

Chris Lincoln

The finest players in the modern day era of snooker continued to assert their authority in China, as seven of the top ten qualified for the quarter-finals at the International Championship

Though arguably the most familiar name of them all will endure an early departure as his nemesis Michael Holt completed a hat-trick of victories. The World number 27 defeated Ronnie O'Sullivan 6-4 as they shared four half century breaks apiece and Holt recorded a 3-0 lead in all competitions against the multi-World Champion.

Michael Holt - Stuart Bingham

The Hitman will have to take his game to another level when he takes on another former World Champion in Stuart Bingham as the last eight matches take shape. The World number two was in excellent form as he saw off fellow countryman Ali Carter with a comfortable 6-1 victory.

A break of 82 helped Bingham on his way to a 2-0 lead, only for Carter to claw a frame back with a contribution of 63. Yet three half century breaks in a row, as Carter managed just one point, set the 2015 World Champion on his way to an early finish.

John Higgins - Ding Junhui

The only non-English tie of the final eight sees reigning Champion John Higgins take on local favourite Ding Junhui. Higgins defeated another home nation representative in outsider Zhou Yuelong despite losing the opening frame. The Scotsman responded with a 71 and 74 as he won four frames in a row, before Yuelong created the first century of the match with 102. Yet Higgins won the final two as he cruised to a comfortable 6-2 win as his defence of the title continues.

Ding was locked in a much tighter contest with Ricky Walden as the pair could barely be separated, as is the case in the ranking table. Ding did eventually run out victorious in a final frame decider but could have secured the win earlier as he took a 5-2 lead. Yet Walden was in excellent shape as he made two century breaks of 130 and 124 but was unable to take the final step against the World number nine. 

Ding is the last Asian player left standing oncemore (photo: Getty Images)
Ding is the last Asian player left standing oncemore (photo: Getty Images)

Judd Trump - Shaun Murphy

Veteran James Wattana has been the surprise package of the competition and he continued that form as he opened a 2-1 lead over Judd Trump. Yet breaks of 137 and 133 sandwiched between two half centuries helped the World number four into the quarter-finals, as Wattana failed to pot in three of the nine frames contested.

Trump will face Shaun Murphy in the next round who is ranked directly above him. Murphy fell behind to Sam Baird as the outsider made a break of 106 in the opening frame, before Murphy ran away with the contest, winning the next six battles. Although Murphy made two half centuries and a 101, Baird would have felt he could have put up a stronger fight after missing various opportunities throughout the match.

Mark Selby - Joe Perry

World Champion Mark Selby made it through to the final eight but only by the skin of his teeth. He was arguably outplayed by local Liang Wenbo as the man from China made four half centuries and a 104, whilst Selby did not formulate a contribution over 71. Liang was one frame away from progressing at 5-4 but Selby showed his resilience as he ground out the final two frames. 

His quarter-final opponent will be Joe Perry who surprised Australian Neil Robertson. A tactical, if not high scoring, performance from Perry saw off the World number seven as he raced to a 5-1 lead and completed the task 6-2.