Seven-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan’s hopes of an eighth world title will need to wait another year after “The Rocket” was dumped out of this year’s competition at the quarter-final stages.
O’Sullivan led Luca Brecel 6-2 and 10-6 but the Belgian fought back to win seven consecutive frames and take the quarter-final 13-10.
The Brit was looking to better Stephen Hendry’s record of seven titles at the Crucible having drawn level with the Scot last year.
“He played unbelievable. He is such a good player and I love watching him. He is such a dynamic player,” O’Sullivan said. “Probably the most talented snooker player I have ever seen. I would love to go and see him win it just for snooker because that is how the game should be played.
“If I’d have put up a bit more resistance maybe he wouldn’t have played as well but you still have to pot the balls. I just wasn’t playing well enough to have an impact on the game.
“If it was a boxing match they’d have stopped it very early because I was pinching frames and hanging on and it catches up with you at some point.”
It was the first time that O’Sullivan had failed to win a frame in a Crucible session in his career.