The Snooker World Championships kicked off at the legendary Sheffield Crucible Theater last Friday.
Sport legend Ronnie O’Sullivan faced Thai Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in his first-round match on Sunday and Monday. The match turned into a historically devastating 44-year-old O’Sullivan show.
The five-time world champion defeated the Thai team 10-1. The match lasted only 108 minutes, the fastest victory in World Cup history, the BBC reported.
O'Sullivan set a previous speed record in as much as 41 minutes. The previous record was at the World Championships a year ago, when England’s Shaun Murphy defeated China’s Luo Honghao.
- The fastest match in Crucible's history, glowed on the World Snooker Tour Instagram, accompanied by a picture of O'Sullivan.
By comparison, for example, in the 2017 World Cup qualifiers between Fergal O’Brien and David Gilbert, the final batch of the match alone lasted two hours and three minutes - that is, 15 minutes longer than the match between O’Sullivan and Un-Nooh as a whole.
O’Sullivan is pleased that Crucible is being played without an audience. The World Snooker World Championships were originally scheduled to allow spectators, but plans were canceled on the first day of the tournament due to the worsening coronavirus situation in England.
- Now I don’t have to deal with the pressures and expectations caused by the audience, getting in and out of the venue. My shoulders have less weight, O’Sullivan described to the BBC.
- This feels like a vacation and I can stay in a hotel near the venue. In the past, I have had a hard time finding peace and quiet, an extremely popular snooker star continued.
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh suffered a defeat for Ronnie O’Sullivan in just under two hours.
Photo: Zhou Mi / Xinhua / Zuma / MVPhotos
In his record-breaking victory, O’Sullivan spent an average of just 14 seconds on punches.
- O'Sullivan usually plays fast, 15-16 seconds per shot, but now he looks well prepared and hits the ball very well. The question, then, is whether he can keep up the pace. This tournament is full of examples of players who start strong but don’t last until the end, analyzes Scottish professional player Alan McManus.
In the second round, in a match starting on Friday, O'Sullivan will face Chinese Ding Junhui.
33-year-old Ding won the first round of the English Mark King in a tough battle by 10-9.
Results of the first round of the Snooker World Cup:
Judd Trump - Tom Ford 10–8, Stuart Bingham - Ashley Carty 10–7, Ding Junhui - Mark King 10–9, Mark Williams - Alan McManus 10–5, John Higgins - Matthew Stevens 10–5, Neil Robertson - Liang Wenbo 10–5, Kurt Maflin - David Gilbert 10–8, Ronnie O’Sullivan - Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10–1