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Ronnie O'Sullivan "not bothered" about breaking records after rapid victory

Ronnie O'Sullivan
© Reuters
The five-time world champion is safely into the second round of the World Championship.

Ronnie O’Sullivan shrugged off his record-breaking exploits after becoming the first player to win a Crucible match in less than two hours.

O’Sullivan won the two frames required to convert an 8-1 overnight advantage into a 10-1 win over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in a total match time of 108 minutes.

The victory by the five-time world champion comfortably eclipsed the previous record of 149 minutes set by Shaun Murphy when he whitewashed Luo Honghao last year.

But O’Sullivan said: “I’m not really bothered by records – I stopped bothering about records when I reached them and they didn’t really give you that buzz for very long.

“They’re nice when you’re chasing them but once you get them they’re over-rated in many ways. So I think you just take each game as it comes and it’s just nice to be out there playing some snooker.”

O’Sullivan had required just 82 minutes to establish his overnight advantage against the Thai, who is officially the fastest player in the game.

But it was the ‘Rocket’ who set the furious pace, with an average shot time of less than 14 seconds as he racked up seven breaks over 50, including two centuries.

Thepchaiya missed a chance to prolong the inevitable in the opening frame of the Monday morning session as he was punished for missing a simple red on 22.

O’Sullivan duly stepped in with a clearance of 93 – his eighth break of more than 50 in the match – to move within one frame of the second round.

Despite breaking down on 41 when he missed a relatively simple red, O’Sullivan was gifted a second chance to wrap up a crushing victory with a further break of 48.

O’Sullivan, who starts his second round match against Ding Junhui on Friday, had caused controversy on the eve of the tournament by claiming players were being treated like “lab rats” over the decision to introduce a limited crowd.

But following the government’s U-turn during the tournament’s opening day, O’Sullivan admitted he felt more relaxed playing in front of an empty arena.

He added: “I prefer it – I don’t have to deal with the pressure and expectation of the crowd and getting in and out of the venue.”

Judd Trump will face Yan Bingtao in the second round after the Chinese 16th seed withstood a stirring comeback from qualifier Elliot Slessor.

Yan converted a 7-1 overnight lead into a 9-2 advantage before Slessor reeled off five frames in a row – including a debut Crucible century – to reduce the deficit to 9-7.

But with the game threatening to stretch into an extra session, Yan managed to rediscover enough composure to nudge over the line with a 10-7 win.

Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham built a 6-3 overnight lead against 10th seed and former champion Shaun Murphy after winning the final two frames of their afternoon session.


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