Ronnie O’Sullivan smashes record for fastest victory at the Crucible

Ronnie O’Sullivan smashes record for fastest victory at the Crucible

Ronnie O’Sullivan played down his record-breaking achievement after becoming the first player to win a Crucible match in less than two hours.

The five-time world champion won the two frames required to convert an 8-1 overnight advantage into a 10-1 win against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in a total match time of 108 minutes. O’Sullivan’s victory comfortably eclipsed the previous record of 149 minutes set by Shaun Murphy when he whitewashed Luo Honghao last year.

O’Sullivan said: “I’m not really bothered by records – I stopped bothering about records when I reached them and they didn’t really give you that buzz for very long. They’re nice when you’re chasing them but once you get them they’re overrated in many ways. So I think you just take each game as it comes and it’s just nice to be out there playing some snooker.”

O’Sullivan had required just 82 minutes to establish his overnight advantage against the Thai, who is officially the fastest player in the game. But it was the “Rocket” who set the furious pace, with an average shot time of less than 14 seconds as he racked up seven breaks of more than 50, including two centuries.

O’Sullivan, who starts his second-round match against Ding Junhui on Friday, had caused controversy on the eve of the tournament by claiming players were being treated like “lab rats” over the decision to introduce a limited crowd.

But following the government’s U-turn during the tournament’s opening day, O’Sullivan admitted he felt more relaxed playing in front of an empty arena. “I prefer it – I don’t have to deal with the pressure and expectation of the crowd and getting in and out of the venue.”