Ronnie O'Sullivan survives scare at snooker's Masters to progress to latter stages

Six time champion eventually eventually defeated his Chinese opponent Liang Wenbo

BY Raf Diallo 19:34 Sunday 15 January 2017, 19:34 15 Jan 2017

Ronnie O'Sullivan (right) and Liang Wenbo during day one of the Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace, London. Picture by Adam Davy PA Wire/PA Images

Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan survived a big first round scare to reach the quarter-finals of snooker's Masters.

He won 6-5 in his match against China's Liang Wenbo at London's Alexandra Palace.

Wenbo had fought back to lead 5-4 but missed the final black which would have sealed a surprise 6-4 win over the reigning Masters champion.

But O'Sullivan was able to respond and turn the match around.

Speaking to the BBC after the match, O'Sullivan voiced his belief that he did not deserve to beat Wenbo and that he can "feel for him because I know what that feels like".

O'Sullivan has won the Masters six times, becoming the youngest winner back in 1995 at the age of 19.

A seventh win would be a Masters record with Scotland's Stephen Hendry also on six for his career.

O'Sullivan is the first player into the quarter finals and will face the winner of the last 16 encounter between Australia's Neil Robertson and England's Ali Carter in the last eight.

Mark Selby, who defeated O'Sullivan in the UK Championship final, will face Mark Williams of Wales in the last 16.

Ding Jinhui, Marco Fu and John Higgins are all in contention to reach the quarter finals should they defeat their respective opponents.

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