Barry Hawkins bulldozed his way into the quarter-finals of the Champion of Champions with a brilliant 4-0 whitewash of reigning world champion Luca Brecel.
Hawkins, currently ranked 12 in the world, is looking to add his second title of the season having won the European Masters back in August.
The 44-year-old started in electric form, refusing to even allow Brecel breathing room, taking the first frame with a blistering 128 total clearance.
After Brecel missed a difficult red at the start of the second, Hawkins seized on the opportunity, and some impressive positional play allowed him to keep his opponent at arm’s length and double his advantage.
Brecel was barely out of his seat with fans in Bolton only seeing a glimpse of the Belgian in the third, where he only managed a 31 break.
Although this was the closet frame of the match, a confident Hawkins was able to see off his opponent to leave himself one frame from victory.
The onslaught continued as Hawkins signed off with a break of 108 to finish in style with another century.
He faces the winner of Mark Williams and Robert Milkins later in the day.
O’Sullivan was due to play his opening match of the tournament against Zhang Anda in Bolton on Wednesday. He has been replaced by Ding Junhui, who is set to arrive in the UK from China on Tuesday evening.
“Hi guys, just wanted to let you know I’m unfortunately withdrawing from the Champions of Champions event tomorrow,” said O’Sullivan on X, formerly Twitter.
“Mentally, I feel a bit drained and stressed and I want to look after my mental health and my body. I’m sorry to all the fans but I’ll be back.”
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