Ronnie O’Sullivan, the defending champion, took a 6-3 lead against debutant Pang Junxu on the first day of the Cazoo World Championship at the Crucible Theatre. This was O’Sullivan’s 31st appearance at the Crucible, breaking Steve Davis’s previous record of 30.
O’Sullivan won his seventh Crucible crown by defeating Judd Trump in last year’s final, and he is now seeking his eighth world title. Pang, who recently reached his maiden final at the WST Classic, made a slow start and even walked out through the wrong entrance to the arena after being introduced to the crowd. However, he managed to stay in touch with a strong finish to the session.
The first frame of the match was won by O’Sullivan, who went on to secure a commanding 5-0 lead with breaks of 61, 53, and 71. Pang then fought back with a stunning break of 133 to win his first frame. Although O’Sullivan extended his lead to 6-1, Pang won the next two frames with breaks of 83 and 44 to end the session at 6-3. The match will resume for its conclusion this evening at 7 pm.
In the other table, Stuart Bingham, the 2015 World Champion, came from behind to secure a 6-3 lead over former semi-finalist David Gilbert. Bingham, who has won all of his previous 11 clashes with Gilbert, made breaks of 78 and 87 to win five frames in a row after trailing 3-1 at the mid-session interval. They will continue their match tomorrow morning at 10 am.
Here’s a tabular form of the scores:
|Player||Frames Won||Frames Lost|