Ronnie leads David Gilbert by 6-3 after the first session of their last 32 match at the 2022 World Championship. David got off to the better start and lead 3-0 before Ronnie settled and found his touch. Here are the scores and stats:
O’Sullivan Hits Gilbert For Six
Ronnie O’Sullivan came from 3-0 down to win six frames in a row against David Gilbert, taking a 6-3 lead in the first session of their Betfred World Championship clash.
Gilbert will rue missing chances to put more pressure on his illustrious opponent, as O’Sullivan recovered from a slow start to take control of this first round Crucible clash. They resume on Sunday at 2.30pm with first to ten frames to reach the last 16.
Six-time champion O’Sullivan needs one more title to match Stephen Hendry’s record of seven, and comes into the tournament on top of the world rankings. Gilbert, a semi-finalist here in 2019, was considered a tough opening draw, though O’Sullivan has won all six of their previous meetings.
Breaks of 56 and 94 gave Gilbert the first two frames. The third came down to the colours and O’Sullivan missed a tough green to a baulk corner, leaving his opponent the chance to go 3-0 ahead. O’Sullivan got going with a 122 to pull one back, then in the fifth he trapped Gilbert on a difficult snooker on the last red, and from the chance that followed he narrowed the gap to 3-2.
Trailing 32-23 in frame six, Gilbert failed to convert a long red, and handed O’Sullivan an opening to add a run of 64 to square the match. A superb break of 104 gave O’Sullivan the lead at 4-3, and when his opponent missed a black off its spot on 25 in frame eight, he cleared with 66 to build his momentum. The last frame of the session was dominated by O’Sullivan, helped by a run of 54, to establish a handy overnight cushion.
Eurosport gave a more detailed account of the session:
WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP 2022 – RONNIE O’SULLIVAN POWERS INTO COMMANDING LEAD OVER DAVID GILBERT
Ronnie O’Sullivan and David Gilbert are locked in battle in the first round of the World Championship at the Crucible. O’Sullivan said on the eve of the tournament that it was one of the toughest draws possible, and Gilbert proved that by racing into a three-frame advantage. However, O’Sullivan responded in brilliant fashion to secure a lead.
Ronnie O’Sullivan went through the gears to secure a 6-3 lead over David Gilbert after the opening session of their first-round clash in the World Championship at the Crucible.
Gilbert came into the match having lost all seven of his tournament meetings with O’Sullivan, but brought up thoughts of a shock when racing into a three-frame lead.
However, O’Sullivan got going with a ton in the fourth and never looked back to take control of the match ahead of Sunday afternoon’s concluding session.
O’Sullivan had a sighter at a long red to the bottom left in the first frame, but it failed to find its target and he was unfortunate to see it hit the jaws of the right middle and leave it on for Gilbert, who cashed in with a telling break to settle the nerves and take the opener.
Gilbert had to come through qualification, but he has form at the Crucible – having made it to the semi-finals in 2019 – and he doubled his lead with a break of 94 in the second. Fortune was on Gilbert’s side in the second, as he missed a red by some way and sent balls round the table but left nothing easy, and got in again shortly afterwards and took full advantage.
After potting one ball in the opening two frames, O’Sullivan got his cue arm moving in the third with a break of 44 – which was a good effort given black and pink were out of commission.
However, he did not kill the frame off and after winning a safety battle, O’Sullivan left a gift for Gilbert when missing a tough green and the Angry Farmer cleared the colours to open up a three-frame lead.
O’Sullivan was under pressure after losing a frame he should have won, but there was no sign of it as he stroked in a stunning long red and raced through the 185th century of his Crucible career to get on the board.
The fifth had a similar feel to the third, as OSullivan broke down on a break of 43 and Gilbert countered. It boiled down to a battle on the final red, and it went O’Sullivan’s way after he laid a fiendish snooker and Gilbert coughed up an error.
From 3-0 down, O’Sullivan levelled the contest after winning a safety exchange and crafting a break of 64 – which came after a bizarre disturbance in the crowd.
Gilbert claimed before the draw that he wanted to avoid one of the big guns, and said following the draw ‘anyone but Ronnnie.’
At three frames to the good that was probably the furthest thing from his mind, but after O’Sullivan knocked in a 104 to lead for the first time in the match at 4-3 those thoughts likely came flooding back.
Gilbert had a chance in the eighth, but missed a simple black off its spot – with his thoughts almost certainly on splitting the pack. It was a costly error as O’Sullivan picked off a run of 67 to extend his lead.
O’Sullivan thought the session was over after eight frames but had to be reminded by referee Brendan Moore that there are nine in the opening session.
So instead of shaking hands with Gilbert, he picked off the ninth with a break of 58 to secure a commanding 6-3 advantage.
The bizarre disturbance was a Satnav starting to give loud directions … That’s a first and very strange indeed! The referee, Brendan, looked utterly bemused.
Whatever Ronnie says about not caring, he was clearly tense at the start of the match and applied himself 100% … I really liked his attitude yesterday and he did play well once he got going.
He had been speaking to the sponsor ahead of his match:
It’s a good, positive interview.