O'Sullivan advances with comfortable win over McGill

3 months ago 79
Ronnie O'SullivanRonnie O'Sullivan is looking to win a record-extending 22nd Triple Crown event in York

Seven-time winner Ronnie O'Sullivan claimed a comfortable 6-2 first-round victory over Anthony McGill in the UK Championship in York.

A 116 clearance and a half-century had given McGill an early 2-0 lead.

However, world number one O'Sullivan then took charge - compiling five half-centuries as he reeled off the next six frames to seal his victory.

Three-time UK champion John Higgins beat Joe O'Connor 6-3 in Tuesday afternoon's other match.

Scotland's Higgins will meet Australia's Neil Robertson or China's Zhou Yuelong in the next round.

O'Sullivan will face fellow Englishman Robert Milkins or Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the last 16.

"Against Anthony, it was not about playing well it's about digging deep and out battling," O'Sullivan told BBC Sport.

"These tournaments create more of a buzz and pressure. You can feel it and you generally get up for it a bit more."

'The Rocket' has lift off

O'Sullivan arrived in York in a blaze of publicity, having said he could quit the sport, and spent part of last week on the red carpet - or more accurately, the green carpet - for the release of his documentary.

And he received a rapturous reception as he stepped into the auditorium for his encounter with McGill, in only his second tournament in Britain this season - 30 years to the day since he won the first of his seven UK titles.

But while McGill was able to establish a two-frame advantage, any questions around 'The Rocket' being undercooked were soon dismissed and he was able to go through the gears as McGill began to falter.

The Scot, who won their epic 2021 World Championship last-16 meeting 13-12, and who was playing with a carbon fibre cue and a glove to aid his cueing, repeatedly struggled with pots from distance.

That only acted as encouragement to O'Sullivan, who rattled in two breaks of 89 and enjoyed runs of 66 and 61 before taking the final frame with a 92.

More to follow.

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