July 24, 2021

O’Sullivan records fastest win in Crucible history

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O’Sullivan: “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”

Last Updated: 03/08/20 11:59am

Ronnie O'Sullivan raced past Thepchaiya Un-Nooh under two hours at the Crucible Ronnie O'Sullivan raced past Thepchaiya Un-Nooh under two hours at the Crucible

Ronnie O’Sullivan raced past Thepchaiya Un-Nooh under two hours at the Crucible

Ronnie O’Sullivan recorded the fastest win in Crucible history as he completed a 10-1 demolition of Thepchaiya Un-Nooh under two hours in the first round of the World Championship on Monday morning.

The five-time world champion took just 82 minutes to storm to an 8-1 advantage in the first session of their match on Sunday, with an average shot time of less than 14 seconds.

O’Sullivan returned to quickly wrap up the two frames needed for victory and shatter the current Crucible record of 149 minutes Shaun Murphy took to whitewash Luo Honghao last year.

The 44-year-old shrugged off his record-breaking performance, insisting: “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.”

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

O’Sullivan duly stepped in with a clearance of 93 – his eighth break of over 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.

While the official match time was yet to be confirmed, it was clear O’Sullivan had smashed the previous record time for a Crucible win and become the first man to win a World Championship tie in under two hours.

After Prime Minister Boris Johnson called off the return of spectators on a pilot basis on Friday, O’Sullivan admitted the atmosphere inside the iconic Crucible was “weird”.

He said: “It’s still the Crucible and it’s still a fantastic venue to play at but it’s so different, it’s weird. It’s a bit like driving through London and seeing it so empty, it’s unbelievable, but at least people can watch it on the TV.”

I’ll be going home today and I won’t be back until Friday morning because I don’t play until Friday, but listen, nothing could be as bad as Milton Keynes, stuck in one place.

Ronnie O’Sullivan

‘The Rocket’ has been able to stay in his own accommodation, with restrictions eased during the two-week long tournament.

“I’ll be going home today and I won’t be back until Friday morning because I don’t play until Friday, but listen, nothing could be as bad as Milton Keynes, stuck in one place,” he added. “Some people don’t mind it but I like to go running, I like to have a coffee and just get some fresh air. That was my worst nightmare really, but here it’s great.”

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