Ronnie O’Sullivan lost his first frame at this year’s UK Championship but still cruised into the fourth round with a 6-1 win over Michael Georgiou.
Five-time champion O’Sullivan beat both Boonyarit Keattikun and Rhys Clark 6-0 at York Barbican, but Georgiou took the first frame with a break of 52.
O’Sullivan, 40, had breaks of 50-plus in four of the next six frames to become the first man into round four.
He was joined by world champion Mark Selby, who thrashed Robert Milkins 6-1.
O’Sullivan said: “I am pleased with how I responded to going behind.
“But I think I could do with a close match that could go either way – a good tough match. Maybe a 6-4 or a 6-3 win would be beneficial.”
London-born world number 99 Georgiou, who is of Cypriot descent, described O’Sullivan as “superhuman”, adding: “I cannot see anyone beating him.”
O’Sullivan, who is ranked eighth in the world, will play Joe Perry or Matthew Stevens in the last 16.
World number one Selby played his best snooker of the tournament in securing an impressive victory over Gloucester’s Milkins.
Milkins levelled at 1-1, but the Leicester man responded with two half-centuries and a stylish ton to set up a fourth-round match with either Zhang Anda or Mitchell Mann.
“In the last game, I was cueing in circles but this was a lot better,” Selby said.
“I felt more in control and, when I got my chances, more often than not I took them. When Rob brings his ‘A game’ he is a match for anybody but you could tell he was struggling.”
Peter Lines’ fairytale run came to an end with a 6-2 defeat by Liam Highfield, while the match of the afternoon ended in a thrilling final-frame win for world number 21 David Gilbert over Ali Carter.
A break of 94 helped world number 14 Carter build a 3-0 lead but Gilbert won five frames on the spin, scoring two tons and two half-centuries.
Although Carter levelled at 5-5, Tamworth-based Gilbert held his nerve in a tense final frame.
Three-time champion John Higgins and 2008 finalist Marco Fu are both in action in the evening session.
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/snooker/38136215