UK Snooker Championship: Ronnie O'Sullivan defeats Steve Davis

Ronnie O'Sullivan
World number 12 O'Sullivan is seeking his fifth UK championship title

Ronnie O'Sullivan began his quest for a fifth UK Championship title with a 6-1 first-round victory over six-time former champion Steve Davis in York.

O'Sullivan looked likely to take the first frame only for Davis to compile a fine century to turn it around.

But O'Sullivan fought back and potted a lucky brown to take a 3-1 lead and, despite a valiant effort by Davis, took the next three frames.

Meanwhile, world number one Mark Selby thrashed Ryan Day 6-0.

In a tight match, world number 44 Davis took the first with a superb pot, before O'Sullivan was spurred into action battling to take the next three.

He took the third in style with a break of 123, the highest of the match.

Davis, 54, left a red in the corner for O'Sullivan to pot to go on to take the fourth with 97.

But O'Sullivan made the same mistake in the fifth to give Davis some hope, but when he failed to pot a simple pink, O'Sullivan grabbed his chance to take the frame.

The four-time champion won the battle of the safety shots and the match began to run away from veteran Davis.

O'Sullivan, who remained focused throughout, won the match with breaks of 53 and 62 in the seventh to set up a clash against either Judd Trump or Dominic Dale in the last 16 and admitted to being happy with his current positive run of form.

"I made a few decent breaks, all round it was pretty decent," O'Sullivan said.

"When you get some confidence you can get some momentum going. But I'm just glad to be in the next round, it was nice to get a win and get through."

He added: "Steve has got so much class, just the way he hits the ball, but he's probably not playing with as much confidence as he used to. I think that's the key to this game."

Davis admitted he had stayed with O'Sullivan in the early frames but after that was out of the contest.

He said: "I enjoyed the first frame and I had a chance in the second - after that it was one-way traffic.

"Ronnie was hitting the ball beautifully and I wasn't good enough. When you play against the very top players, you have to be even more perfect because any mistakes are magnified."

Selby, seeking his maiden UK Championship title, settled quickly against Day and never looked back as he restricted his Welsh opponent to a top break of just 24.

After an even opening frame, Selby, 25, compiled breaks of 86, 111, 90 and 69 to race 5-0 clear.

In the sixth, Day potted his first ball for 36 minutes but missed a simple pink to let Selby return to seal the win.

The Englishman will face Marco Fu in the second round after the Hong Kong veteran came from 3-1 down to beat Stuart Bingham 6-4.

Ali Carter secured his place in the next round with a 6-4 victory over Robert Milkins.

Milkins looked set to go 4-2 clear at one point but a missed green proved costly as Carter cleared to level the match at 3-3.

Carter, 32, won the next two frames to move to within one of victory but Milkins kept his hopes alive by taking the ninth.

However, a missed yellow by Milkins proved costly as he appeared set to take the match to a decider - with Carter clearing to pink.

In the evening session, former world champion Shaun Murphy beat China's Li Yan 6-3, to set up a second-round meeting with Martin Gould, who beat fellow Englishman Peter Lines 6-2