World Snooker Championship: Ronnie O’Sullivan’s title defence ended by Anthony McGill

World Snooker Championship: Ronnie O’Sullivan’s title defence ended by Anthony McGill

April 23, 2021

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s hopes of equalling Stephen Hendry’s record of seven World Snooker Championship titles were ended by Anthony McGill in a final-frame thriller at the Crucible on Friday night.

With O’Sullivan 10-6 down heading into the evening’s conclusion of their best-of-25 clash, he looked an entirely different player upon the resumption as he turned his four-frame deficit into an 11-10 lead – but it was not enough to prevent him crashing out.

Shell-shocked McGill had finally managed to respond with a break of 87 to level the match at 11-11 and leave both players two frames from victory.

O’Sullivan nudged back in front only for McGill to respond with a magnificent 136 – his third century of the match – to force a fitting decider.

O’Sullivan got in first with a break of 42 but a missed red left a chance for McGill, who chiselled another nerveless clearance of 85 to reach the quarter-finals with a stunning 13-12 win.

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Snooker fans watching the @Betfred World Championship tonight: pic.twitter.com/G1I5OKrzDm

The players were level at 4-4 after Thursday’s opening session, but Scotsman McGill won the first four frames in succession in an engrossing Friday morning’s play to lead 8-4.

Two centuries underpinned a superb performance from McGill as he took a 10-6 advantage, but despite O’Sullivan’s revival in the evening it was the tenacious 30-year-old who made it through to the quarter-finals.

McGill’s sensational triumph came in startling contrast to his previous final-frame decider at the famous venue in Sheffield when he had lost a dramatic semi-final to Kyren Wilson in arguably the most remarkable frame in the sport’s history.

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