RONNIE O’SULLIVAN said he “felt a bit sorry” for Sunny Akani after booking his spot in today’s UK Snooker Championship quarter-finals at York Barbican.

Five-time-champion O’Sullivan edged the 22-year-old 6-5, but admitted the Thai starlet had deserved to win.

Akani had held a two-frame advantage twice in the match – at 2-0 and 4-2 – but both times was pegged back. The world number 84 also had the chance to win it in the 10th frame as he led 5-4, but was unfortunate to pot the blue as he made an impressive shot on the green, and O’Sullivan seized his opportunity to take the final two frames.

O'Sullivan said of Akani: “I don’t know a lot about him. I hear a lot about him. He’s a great character and a beautiful lad. He’s fantastic and I hope he has a fantastic career because it’s great for snooker.

“I felt a bit sorry for him, really. He deserved to win. I felt like I’d robbed him of a victory, but I’m sure he’ll have some good wins in the future.”

O'Sullivan also looked ahead to his quarter-final against Martin Gould, saying he "didn't really care" about winning it.

See the video for O'Sullivan's full post-match reaction.