Updated: Wednesday, 15 January 2014 09:51 | By Agence France-Presse

Ronnie O'Sullivan brushes aside Robert Milkins at Masters

World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan brushed aside tournament debutant Robert Milkins 6-1 to launch his campaign for a fifth Masters title at London's Alexandra Palace on Tuesday.


Ronnie O'Sullivan brushes aside Robert Milkins at Masters

Ronnie O'Sullivan plays a shot against Ding Junhui of China at Alexandra Palace in north London on January 15, 2012

O'Sullivan, who thrashed Milkins 6-0 in the UK Championship last month, will now play either Barry Hawkins or Ricky Walden in the quarter-finals of the Masters.

Afterwards, O'Sullivan said he hoped the manner of his convincing win had provided his watching friends, including leading British artist Damien Hirst, rather than watching 'reality' television.

"Damien has been in my corner for a long time. He gets me and understands how challenging this game can be, and gives me a lot of support," O'Sullivan told worldsnooker.com.

"We all had a good night out -- it gets a bit boring sitting in and watching Big Brother."

O'Sullivan said he felt refreshed following his break from competition since losing to Stuart Bingham at the UK Championship in December.

"I played too much snooker at the end of last year and got a bit sick of looking at a table," O'Sullivan said.

"It's better for me to play a couple of tournaments then have a month off because as you get older you struggle to get up for every match. 

"It's all right when you're younger because everything is new and fresh and exciting but when you've been around for 20 years, you tend to go through the motions a bit, and you can't afford to do that at this level."

Earlier on Tuesday, 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy came from 4-2 down to beat China's Ding Junhui 6-4.

Murphy, the Masters runner-up two years ago, will play 2011 runner-up Marco Fu in the quarter-finals after the Hong Kong man beat Judd Trump 6-5 in the first round on Monday.

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