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Snooker

Ronnie O'Sullivan - Mark Joyce | Ad-Free

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We'll be back with you for mote live action from the World Snooker Championship tomorrow. Night night!
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Ronnie O’Sullivan is through to the second round

He was out of sorts in the morning but gave us all sorts this evening. It speaks volumes for O’Sullivan’s matchplay that he could survive such a ropey first session to lead 6-3; that initial performance would be more severely punished by the seeded players, but few can live with what he produced to round out the evening. Four superb breaks, three of them tons, pulled him serenely away to victory just as Joyce had closed the gap on him. O’Sullivan’s in the market for his seventh world title, and the game to bring it home was on full display tonight.

O'Sullivan 10-4 Joyce

He can! Left-handed shots, right-handed shots, thought over or barely lined up, all drop. O'Sullivan empties the table for a 112, and he takes frame and match.

O'Sullivan 9-4 Joyce (71-9)

It's another half-century for Ronnie, and frame ball blue soon follows. Can he round off with a third century in a row?

O'Sullivan 9-4 Joyce (33-9)

Only eight for Joyce as he misses a red into the left middle. In response, O'Sullivan picks out a stunner of a red into the yellow pocket and he's on the green. He soon stuns in the blue to split the pack below the pink, and this is now a chance to win frame and match at this visit.

'Finally arrived!' - O'Sullivan moves through the gears to notch first century of Worlds

O'Sullivan 9-4 Joyce (16-1)

We're back, and what does Mark Joyce have left? In the last three frames he's shipped 327 points without reply. There'll be more dumped on that now, as a one cushion escape from Joyce into the side of the pack goes wrong, and leaves an easy red on to the bottom right. Two reds and two blacks follow, until O'Sullivan's spell is broken and he missed a mid-range red into the green pocket. Joyce strokes a red in to the bottom right, and has one toe on the very long road to an unlikely comeback.

O'Sullivan 9-4 Joyce

Still got it, might never lose it. A 137 from O'Sullivan leaves him one frame from victory; that was utterly spellbinding.
It's the mid-session interval, we'll be back with you in 15. On the other table, David Gilbert leads Chris Wakelin 3-0.

O'Sullivan 8-4 Joyce (106-0)

It's not so much the potting, but the series of seemingly innocuous canons and flicks that just delicately open up the potential for a big break. For O'Sullivan it's like a difficult table is a Magic Eye poster, which he steps in front of and sees right through. A black takes him to his first century of the 2021 World Championship.

O'Sullivan 8-4 Joyce (60-0)

A brilliant red into the right middle, cut in despite awkward cueing, leaves O'Sullivan on the black that soon disappears for a half-century. No player in history has mapped the critical path to a frame-winning clearance quite like Ronnie, this is just so impressive.

O'Sullivan 8-4 Joyce (24-0)

A very, very long exchange of safeties opens the 13th frame. Joyce is forced into a difficult ling red, across the table and into the bottom right, but it misses and he goes in off in the bottom left. With ball in hand, O'Sullivan plugs a red into the right middle followed by the blue. It's a situation he loves; a spread of reds with an accent of difficulty on the clearance, requiring a lot of advanced thought and a featherlite touch. He's making a good fist of it so far.

O'Sullivan 8-4 Joyce

A pink to bottom right is frame ball, and Ronnie drops it in to take his break to 70. Three of the remaining five reds are near cushions, but he still mops up the lot with an ease bordering on contempt. What a player this man is, and what ability to be able to locate when required. A stunning, freewheeling 124 leaves him just two frames from victory.

O'Sullivan 7-4 Joyce (50-0)

After a shaky start to the frame this is an effortless half-ton from Ronnie. He's on the cusp of a four frame lead for the first time today.

O'Sullivan 7-4 Joyce (21-0)

An early chance for O'Sullivan in the twelfth as Joyce leaves him a thin cut on a red to the bottom right. O'Sullivan booms it in, sending the pack everywhere, and comes perilously close to knocking a red into the pink, which is hovering over the green pocket. He's got the break under control now though with an excellent recovery pot on a longish red to the bottom right, and is now jabbing in balls around the pink spot for fun.

O'Sullivan 7-4 Joyce

A black follows to put it beyond doubt, and Joyce concedes the frame after O'Sullivan plays safe off the final cluster of three awkward reds.

O'Sullivan 6-4 Joyce (55-0)

A swift half-century from O'Sullivan, and then frame ball red into the right middle, leaves Joyce 55 behind with 51 on.

O'Sullivan 6-4 Joyce (9-0)

It's another great red from O'Sullivan here, drained into the bottom left from distance, but again he's not on a colour and plays safe. It's a great lead in football, but 4-0 is no good to him in this frame. O'Sullivan is being patient though, waiting for his chance, and his safety play is one thing that's on point today. He forces an error from Joyce that leaves a mid-range cut into the bottom right, which he snicks in to land on the brown. Now, finally, this looks like a chance to score heavy.

O'Sullivan 6-4 Joyce (3-0)

O'Sullivan tags a long red into the bottom left, but then misses a difficult, long brown into the bottom right at the start of the 11th frame. He later clips a red into the left middle, but he can't add a colour to that either. It's the same story when a third red goes down, and he leaves Joyce tight in behind the green instead. O'Sullivan can't quite get going at the moment.

O'Sullivan 6-4 Joyce

...O'Sullivan makes it, and shifts a difficult red off the cushion in the same shot, but catches a pink to bottom left too thick thereafter and he's left the frame on for Joyce. A quick 13 puts it in the bank, and O'Sullivan's lead is cut to two.

O'Sullivan 6-3 Joyce (24-55)

A difficult black into the bottom left takes Joyce to a half-century, but he's lost the cue ball slightly with five reds left and only has a difficult cut on one to the bottom right with the extended rest to keep his break going. Joyce jabs it in, but with caution in mind and he's landed in baulk with no easy pot on. Instead he tries to roll up softly behind the green...and he's shorted it by millimetres! What a nightmare. Ronnie puts him back in, and Joyce escapes the snooker and he's left Ronnie a cut on a red...

O'Sullivan 6-3 Joyce (20-38)

Joyce is fully focused here, and economical use of the cue ball quickly sends him into the lead in this frame. He'll need to move around some of the remaining reds to win this in one visit but he looks tuned in and right up for this tonight.

O'Sullivan 6-3 Joyce (20-0)

It's O'Sullivan that gets away first, gliding in a stray red from distance, but he makes an absolute hash of a simple red into the bottom left soon after to bring his break juddering to a halt. That's a shocker, he has not played well today at all. Can Joyce capitalise? He's got an easy enough starter.

Let's go

Rob Walker is bringing out the players. Mark Joyce steps out to Starman by David Bowie, Ronnie to Drops of Jupiter by Train. A maximum of ten frames then to claim the first place in the second round of the 2021 World Snooker Championship, let's get about it.

Recap

Here’s what’s happened so far today:
Morning session
Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-3 Mark Joyce
Yan Bingtao 4-4 Martin Gould
Afternoon session
Neil Robertson 6-3 Liang Wenbo
Stephen Maguire 4-5 Jamie Jones

Welcome back!

So, where were we? After this morning’s session, Ronnie O’Sullivan established a 6-3 lead over Crucible debutant Mark Joyce, and the two now reconvene to conclude their first round match. On the other side of the divider tonight, David Gilbert faces Chris Wakelin.

---

Neil Robertson leads Liang Wenbo 6-3

That was an impressive start from one of the hot favourites for the title, but in pinching the final frame of the day Liang just about stays in touch with Robertson ahead of their concluding session tomorrow evening.
We'll take a short break now, and be back with you from 6.45 for the conclusion of Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Joyce.

'It almost killed my greatest day' – O'Sullivan exclusive

It was sick and remains perhaps the sickest performance of his rocket-fuelled 29-year professional career.
Ronnie O’Sullivan continues to cite his 18-11 win over fierce Essex rival Ali 'The Captain' Carter in the 2012 World Championship final as his finest triumph in the sport, but has revealed for the first time how his greatest day at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre almost became a nightmare on Norfolk Street.
I just remember waking up and being sick all morning. And just thinking: ‘what’s happened to me?' .
Having ended a three-year wait to claim a 23rd ranking title at the German Masters with a 9-7 success over Stephen Maguire only three months earlier, O’Sullivan would progress to end his four-year wait for a fourth World Championship with an inspired performance against Carter, who he had defeated 18-8 in the 2008 final.
Read Desmond Kane's full interview with Ronnie O'Sullivan here.

'Will he ever get over that?' - O'Sullivan hits back at Selby 'disrespect' accusation

Ronnie O'Sullivan has responded to Mark Selby reasserting that it was "disrespectful" of him to smash balls during their 2020 World Championship semi-final.
O'Sullivan roared back in legendary fashion to defeat the Jester from Leicester 17-16 in a true classic at the Crucible last year, which was also notably controversial.
Selby objected to the Rocket smashing balls seemingly aimlessly, and he made his feelings very clear at the time in the wake of his painful loss.
The three-time world champion - speaking exclusively with Eurosport for a special documentary called 'One Day at The Crucible' - reiterated his feelings about his rival's play in the match.
"I just think that he is obviously just picking one or two shots out of 33 frames, and he has done that to a lot of players over the years," O'Sullivan retorted.
"He has turned matches into maybe not such good spectacles, but just does enough to get a result. Some people would look at that and go, 'Well that's probably not in the spirit of the game.'
"I played one shot but there were 33 frames, and three brilliant frames towards the end of the match. I'd rather focus on that.
Maybe that's the sort of match that he might never recover from, because I just think in some ways he thought that was his tournament and if he'd have beaten me he'd have probably gone on to win the final.
"Even if he does go on and win another one or two world titles - which is no guarantee because Judd [Trump] and Neil Robertson are about - maybe that would have been his last chance of winning a world final.
"So... will he ever get over that one? I don't know. That's probably a tough one to take."
Read the full story here.

How to watch the event

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