World Snooker Championship: Ronnie O'Sullivan knocked out by Anthony McGill in thrilling Crucible decider

By Owen PhillipsBBC Sport at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Betfred World Snooker Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 17 April-3 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan's hopes of a record-equalling seventh Crucible title ended in round two as Scotland's Anthony McGill resisted a stunning fightback to win 13-12.

The reigning champion was outclassed in the morning, Scotland's world number 16 winning six of the eight frames.

O'Sullivan rattled off five frames in a row to lead 11-10 and also led 12-11.

But McGill's stunning break of 136 forced a decider, which he took after O'Sullivan missed a simple red.

McGill told BBC Sport: "I'm delighted. I played so well this morning and Ronnie just played like Ronnie tonight and I didn't step up.

"I had to wipe the slate clean at 10-10 and I managed to stop the rot to get back to 11 each.

"It's one of my best wins. There's no doubt about that. It's a great achievement to beat Ronnie, but I want to go on and win the next match as well."

O'Sullivan said McGill deserved his victory, adding: "He was unlucky to lose in the semi-finals last year and if I had lost to anybody else I would be a bit sore but the snooker gods did the right thing today. I have to lick my wounds and come back again.

"I just want to enjoy my snooker because I haven't really been playing well and I find it hard to enjoy it if I'm not playing well and cueing well.

"I am pleased I was able to focus and compete. But you can't pot anything and it wasn't meant to be."

McGill resists rapid Rocket comeback

Anthony McGill
Anthony McGill reached the semi-finals last season, losing to Kyren Wilson, who was then beaten by Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final

McGill, 30, had played near flawless snooker as breaks of 71, 126 and 89 helped him win four consecutive frames in the morning session for an 8-4 lead.

Two-time ranking event winner McGill repeated the form that saw him reach the Crucible semi-finals last year, dominating the world number two, who nodded approvingly at his opponent's quality and composure.

The ruthless Glaswegian was in the mood to gobble up the chances O'Sullivan's all-out attacking approach left.

O'Sullivan, 45, stopped a seven-frame burst with a break of 92 to get back to 8-5, but McGill took two of the next three, rattling in scores of 105 and 56, to ensure he kept a four-frame advantage.

However, things fell into place for the Englishman when play resumed in front of more than 200 fans on their side of the two-table set up.

He looked set to complete his comeback from 10-6 which would have been the best since Neil Robertson overturned an 11-5 deficit to beat Martin Gould in 2010.

Breaks of 71, 97, 73 set him on the way to winning the first five frames only for McGill to rediscover his touch in the closing stages.

His victory sets up a quarter-final meeting with either 2015 champion Stuart Bingham or Welsh qualifier Jamie Jones.

Hendry still leads the way

Defeat means six-time champion O'Sullivan still needs one more Crucible title to match Stephen Hendry's modern-era record of seven.

He also missed the chance to move one ahead of Hendry's record of 20 quarter-final appearances.

And by missing out on the £50,000 reward for reaching the last eight, O'Sullivan also missed out on going past a total of £3m in earnings from the World Championship.

Around the BBC iPlayer bannerAround the BBC iPlayer footer

Comments

Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.

845 comments