A Chilly Ronnie O'Sullivan Turns Up The Heat At The World Snooker Championship

The Rocket triumphed over debutant Mark Joyce 10-4 at the Crucible
21:11, 17 Apr 2021

A chilly O’Sullivan turned up the heat on his rivals on Saturday night with a 10-4 victory over debutant Mark Joyce. 

The Rocket, chasing a record-equalling seventh world title, misfired early on and was lucky to be leading 6-3 after the first session, with Walsall’s Joyce having chances in every frame. 

But O’Sullivan closed it out with a brilliant trio of centuries - a break of 124 not even bothering to pot the final black, a superb 137 and then a closing 112. 

And the 45-year-old now gets a few days off before playing again on Thursday against either Scotland’s Anthony McGill or Ricky Walden. 

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O’Sullivan, visibly feeling the cold during the match, said, “I played well at the end, it was disastrous early on. I was thinking too much…about cue actions! I must stop doing that. 

“I played well in the last four frames, when you’re not playing well you think ‘I can’t win this’, but if I can build on that momentum then there is hope. 

“It was nice to have the crowd in and I think they made me try harder, without them I would have sunk deeper in my chair. They have paid their money and deserve a good night out.” 

O'Sullivan had expressed fears before the tournament about being "smothered" by fans around the Crucible with Covid still a real threat.

And describing an uncomfortable incident earlier in the day outside a cafe, he said, "There was a guy, boozed up, an absolute lunatic. I had two or three of them, but what can you do.

"Maybe we should ban booze. He was right on top of me, almost shouting, doing what drunk people do. I was just trying to have a coffee and my food, it was embarrassing. It was busy, and people were looking. In the end the manager got rid of him for me.

"So I have probably got to stay away out of the city more, which I don't want to do because I love the city. Last year you could, this year you can't."

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