O'Sullivan closing in on Crucible quarter-final spot

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan is the oldest player to become world champion, winning it at the age of 46 in 2022 [Getty Images]

Seven-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan needs three more frames to beat Wales' Ryan Day and move into the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship for a 22nd time.

O'Sullivan leads 10-6 against the world number 18, with the match being played to a finish on Monday afternoon from 13:00 BST.

Armed with a 5-3 lead from the morning's play on Sunday, English veteran O'Sullivan then won five of the first six frames in the evening session, helped by impressive breaks of 82, 65, 89, 56 and 96.

But Day, a first-round winner over 15th seed Barry Hawkins, ended strongly with breaks of 72 and 75 to claim the last two frames.

Nevertheless, O'Sullivan will be a strong favourite to advance into the last eight, where he would meet either world number 17 Jack Lisowski or 2015 Crucible champion Stuart Bingham.

O'Sullivan, 48, is targeting an eighth world title, which would move him one clear of Stephen Hendry.

After thrashing Welsh qualifier Jackson Page 10-1 in the first round, O'Sullivan made breaks of 123 and 84 in the opening two frames against Day on Sunday morning. Day later responded with a 115, showing he has plenty to offer the contest, but O'Sullivan had him more or less where he wanted him by the close of play.

Day, 44, is aiming to reach the quarter-finals for a fourth time in Sheffield, having lost in that round in 2008, 2009 and 2012.

Fired-up Maguire claims victory over rival Murphy

Stephen Maguire
Stephen Maguire is into the last eight of the World Championship for an eighth time [Getty Images]

Scotland's Stephen Maguire moved into the quarter-finals thanks to a 13-9 victory over 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy.

A fired-up Maguire had built a 10-6 lead on Saturday and made no mistake from that healthy platform.

Murphy had edged two frames on the black early in the contest and responded with a fist pump, before Maguire did likewise, punching the table and then the air at the end of Saturday's action.

"Shaun made a mistake," said 43-year-old Maguire on Sunday. "He knows me well enough and I get down on myself. He won a frame I should've won and I was sitting there hating myself when the fist pump came out and I thought 'you're having it' and all my attention went on that.

"It was satisfying beating a player as good as Shaun is in the last 16 of the World Championship."

The pair have been rivals since they were children, with Maguire the leading Scottish youth player and Murphy the top English young player.

They were involved in a so-called 'Chalkgate' incident at the 2004 Grand Prix when Maguire forgot his chalk, the first-round tie was delayed and he was docked a frame.

Maguire blamed Murphy, who had spoken to the referee, for being docked a frame, although the Englishman has always insisted he was not to blame.

Breaks of 68 and 73 from Maguire helped him win two of the opening three frames on Sunday to move one away from victory. Murphy, the eighth seed, took the next two, but Maguire made a superb break of 127 to seal victory.

It means 11 of the 16 seeds have been eliminated in the opening two rounds.

'Being realistic, I still have to improve'

Stephen Maguire and Shaun Murphy
Stephen Maguire (left) is 28th in the world, with Shaun Murphy eighth [PA Media]

Maguire, the world number 28, will face England's David Gilbert, ranked 31st, in the last eight but felt he needed to improve to become world champion.

"I'm still in it and I'm not going to say I've got no chance, but I'm one of the outsiders," added Maguire, who once climbed as high as second on the rankings list.

"Being realistic, I still need to improve. I don't think I'm good enough. I've not played good but got two good results when I've played better and lost."

Both matches in the afternoon session ended at 9-7.

Stuart Bingham, the 2015 champion, held the edge over Jack Lisowski, taking the last frame on the pink ball to ensure he has the lead going into Monday's final session.

On the other table, Northern Ireland's two-time semi-finalist Mark Allen has the advantage over John Higgins after recovering from 7-5 down to win four frames on the bounce with breaks of 71, 94, 80 and 74.

Bingham and Allen both need to win four frames when their matches resume at 19:00 BST on Monday, while Lisowski and Higgins need six.

Kyren Wilson, the 12th seed and Crucible finalist in 2020, swept to a 10-1 victory over 52-year-old Dominic Dale in the first round and gained firm control of his last-16 match with Joe O'Connor on Sunday.

World number 30 O'Connor defeated fellow Leicester player and four-time world champion Mark Selby in a first-round shock, but he has it all to do on Monday against Wilson.

With a 10-6 lead, Wilson needs three more frames to set up a quarter-final with Allen or Higgins.