Ronnie O’Sullivan admitted he “ran out of ideas” during his error-strewn win over debutant Mark Joyce at the World Championship on Saturday.
The Rocket looked out of sorts on his return to the Crucible, contributing a flurry of uncharacteristic mistakes in a difficult first session.
Despite his troubles, O’Sullivan led 6-3 and returned a different man for the second session to complete a 10-4 win and book a second-round meeting with Anthony McGill or Ricky Walden.
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O’Sullivan finished the match with three centuries (124, 137 and 112) but insists he was plagued with self-doubt during the contest.
“The start was absolutely dreadful,” he told Eurosport. “So to be able to finish off better than I started was pleasing.
“I was thinking ‘why am I not striking the ball well?' You run out of ideas in the end. That’s where I got to last night, I just had to try and mentally be better.
“Blank it out and try and play the game, pot balls and try to build some momentum that way. I had no choice really because I had nothing else to fall back on.
“Listen, if I play the way I did at the start of the match then eventually I’ll get beat. But if I can play a little bit… not even as well as I did towards the end but somewhere near that, then it’ll be nice. You can start to enjoy this tournament.”
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