Highlights & report: O’Sullivan powers on at UK Championship

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Ronnie O’Sullivan beats Michael Georgiou 6-1

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.

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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.

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