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Ronnie O’Sullivan has broke more records as he recorded a 10-1 win over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in under two hours in the first round of the World Championship at the Crucible.
The Rocket who is 5 time World champion stormed into a 8-1 frame lead after just 82 minutes of the match in the first session on Sunday. He needed just two more frame and he returned to get them on Monday to wrap up a record breaking win and to smash Shauna Murphy’a record of 149 minutes.
Thepchaiya had the chance to prolong the defeat in the second session on Monday but he missed an easy enough red to let O’Sullivan in to make a clearance of 93. He just needed one frame to secure a place in Round 2 against Ding Junhui. O’Sullivan made two further breaks of 41 and 48 in that final frame to secure the win. Speaking after the match 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”.
O’Sullivan caused controversy last week when he said that players were treated as “lab rats” over the decision to have a limited crowd at the venue. However, he seemed a bit more relaxed around the situation when asked, he said,” 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.”
The World Snooker tour have also announced a new schedule for events as China will not be allowed host any sporting events till 2021. This will mean the Shanghai Masters, the International Championship and World Open will now be played at a later date due to the Covid 19 pandemic. This means that UK tournament and European have been brought forward. The Championship League will be played now across three legs in September and October and will become a ranking event.
The European Masters will now take place in January. The Shoot Out will take place between October 29th and November 1st. This was held in February previously. The Champion of Champions competition will then run from November 2nd to November 8th. All events in the UK will remain as normal apart from the Welsh Open which will take place before the turn of the year. The UK Championship will remain as scheduled with the final on December 8th.
Of course with the pandemic still ongoing the venues have to be confirmed due to the uncertainty over when spectators will be permitted to return. The Chairman of World Snooker Barry Hearne said, “In recent months there has been uncertainty for all sports in terms of future events, but we have worked alongside all of our partners to find solutions”. “Our players and fans will be thrilled to see that we have a packed schedule for the first half of 2020-21”.