Snooker great by day, scientist by night - Ronnie O’Sullivan is a man of many talents.
The Rocket booked his place in the quarter-finals at the ManBetX Welsh Open with a whirlwind performance over Soheil Vahedi, striking a majestic third frame break of 131 to win 4-0 and book a date with Mark Selby in the last eight.
And after dispatching his Iranian opponent in just 56 minutes, the five-time world champion had a confession to make.
“The table was playing tough - I think the heaters are too hot and you burn the cloth away, which is like washing a t-shirt in a really hot wash, and eventually you destroy the quality of it,” he said.
“When you put hot irons on it you get heat coming through the slate, and then it creates that pinginess - I did that to my club table and when it’s wrecked, it’s wrecked.
— Ronnie O'Sullivan (@ronnieo147) February 14, 2020
“When you turn the heaters down it plays a little bit better and slower, and you don’t really need heaters either with the lights out there, so maybe that’s something to think about.
“When you’ve got soft cushions you can really power it into the cushions and the white holds and you can control it, but on here you really have to cue it well, and everything has to be really out of the middle to get a break going.
“I’m a scientist in my spare time, by the way!”
The triumph came in the world No.6’s 100th match at the Welsh Open, a tournament he has won four times in the past in addition to 32 other individual ranking events.
Five-time world champion @ronnieo147 has whitewashed Soheil Vahedi to become the first player through to the quarter finals of the @manbetxofficial Welsh Open.
The Rocket recorded a break of 131 in frame three of a 4-0 victory!
Selby or Xintong next for O'Sullivan #WelshOpen pic.twitter.com/wlXE2xGEn9
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) February 13, 2020
But the decorated potter remains aware of lesser talent when he sees it, and hailed his fourth round opponent Vahedi - ranked No.115 in the world.
“He’s improved a lot - he was a bit more comfortable out there, has got a good technique and hits the ball well," he added.
“He hit some really good pots out there and has had some great results in this tournament, so good for him - he travels over from Iran and it’s not easy for the guys that have to do that.
“It’s hard for everybody, but it’s double, triple hard for him, so it’s nice to see him get a few results, but luckily he didn’t perform to his good standards tonight.”