World Snooker Championship: Ronnie O’Sullivan through to second round at the Crucible | Snooker News

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Ronnie O’Sullivan after beating David Gilbert in the opening round of the World Snooker Championship: “It is like Gladiator. Russell Crowe has a hole in his arm and knows he is going to die but you just have to find a way. That is what winners and gladiators do”

Last Updated: 17/04/22 7:26pm


Ronnie O’Sullivan came from 3-0 down to defeat David Gilbert 10-5 at the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield

Ronnie O’Sullivan compared himself to Russell Crowe’s character in the Oscar-winning movie Gladiator after beating David Gilbert 10-5 at the World Snooker Championship on Sunday.

O’Sullivan came from behind to defeat Gilbert as the world No 1 continues to hunt a record-equalling seventh title at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.

‘The Rocket’ will now face Mark Allen or Scott Donaldson in the second round.

O’Sullivan reeled off six frames in a row to take control after Gilbert had raced into a 3-0 lead.

Gilbert won the first two frames of the second session before 46-year-old O’Sullivan eased over the line.

Russell Crowe won an Oscar for the film Gladiator at the 73rd Annual Academy Awards

Russell Crowe won an Oscar for the film Gladiator at the 73rd Annual Academy Awards

The six-time champion told the BBC: “I am out there playing, enjoying it and just trying to compete. It is like Gladiator. Russell Crowe has a hole in his arm and knows he is going to die but you just have to find a way. That is what winners and gladiators do.

“I probably wasn’t born to play snooker but I was born to do something with a ball. I just wish it would have been another sport where my temperament would have been suited to it. I find snooker challenging.

“To be the best at something it takes graft, time and effort. Sometimes you ask yourself, ‘Why am I doing this?’

“I was never born a winner, but I had to have it drummed into me. A bit like Serena Williams and Tiger Woods, I had that type of father figure where I was told, ‘You are going to be a success’.

“I wasn’t that bothered but I was toughened up mentally. I was mentored that way.”

Mark Selby showed the kind of battling qualities that have earned him four world titles, with a 137 clearance that also marked his 100th career century in the tournament en route to a gruelling victory

Mark Selby showed the kind of battling qualities that have earned him four world titles, with a 137 clearance that also marked his 100th career century in the tournament en route to a gruelling victory

Defending champion Mark Selby nudged into the second round despite looking far from his best in a 10-7 win over Jamie Jones.

Selby compiled three centuries but struggled for consistency in a match that marked his first appearance at the Crucible since he revealed mental health concerns.

Having sat out recent tournaments in Gibraltar and Turkey, it was inevitable Selby would take time to settle and afterwards he admitted: “It was quite emotional going back out there today.

“The result was irrelevant as long as I went out and tried to enjoy it and smiled a little bit, and that’s what happened. The main thing for me at the moment is just getting better.

“When it got to 9-7 I could see that he fancied the job. But I sat in my chair and thought, if he comes back and beats me 10-9, I’ll still have enjoyed that. The time I stop enjoying it is when I hang up my cue.”

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