Ronnie O’Sullivan has set a new record for appearances at the Crucible as he advanced to the second round of the Cazoo World Championship in Sheffield. Despite a fast start and a 5-0 lead, the 47-year-old struggled with illness and fatigue, but managed to hold on for a 10-7 victory over Pang Junxu. O’Sullivan has played at the Crucible every year since 1993, making this his 31st appearance, surpassing Steve Davis’ record of 30. He could have become the first player to make 200 tons at the Crucible if he had scored a century, but his highest break was only 82.
After equaling Stephen Hendry’s record of seven world titles last year, O’Sullivan is now aiming to win an eighth Crucible crown. In the second round, he will face either Ding Junhui or Hossein Vafaei. China’s Pang, who was Rookie of the Year in 2021, showed his potential on his Crucible debut, leading 6-3 after the first session. He also impressed with his charisma around the table.
On the other table, Welshman Jak Jones made his Crucible debut with a 5-4 lead over Ali Carter. Carter responded with a break of 143, the highest of the tournament so far, but Jones held on to a 6-5 lead. They will resume play on Sunday evening.