Seven-times snooker world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan suffered an extraordinary collapse as he was knocked out of this year’s edition by Belgium’s Luca Brecel on Wednesday.
Reigning title-holder O’Sullivan resumed 10-6 ahead only to lose seven frames in a row as Brecel, ranked tenth in the world, recorded a 13-10 victory at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre to reach the semi-finals.
The 47-year-old O’Sullivan, bidding to win a modern-day record eighth world title, failed to make a single break over 30 as Brecel, 28, rallied to set up a last-four clash with either Scotland’s Anthony McGill or China’s Si Jiahui.
“I didn’t put up any resistance but you’ve still got to pot the balls and he (Brecel) played unbelievable,” O’Sullivan told the BBC. “I wasn’t playing well enough to have any impact on the game.
“If it was a boxing match they would have stopped it very early on. I was just pinching frames and hanging on.”
The Englishman added: “There’s only so much hanging on you can do at the Crucible. It catches up with you at some point, and someone will eventually put you away.”
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