Ronnie O’Sullivan is in a spot of bother against James Cahill (Picture: PA)Ronnie O’Sullivan has come under fire from Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry after playing ‘the worst session of snooker all season’ against James Cahill on Monday.
The Rocket was expected to blast away the first amateur ever to qualify for the Snooker World Championship, but instead finds himself 5-4 down to Cahill after the first session.
The world number one played numerous rash shots, handing his opponent chances which he gratefully accepted.
With 13 world titles between them, Davis and Hendry know what it takes to win at the Crucible and they were not impressed with O’Sullivan’s application.
O’Sullivan was far from his best on Monday (Picture: PA)‘Ronnie has come out to me almost playing like exhibition snooker,’ Hendry said on commentary. ‘Some of the shot choices have been very random.
‘There has been a smattering of brilliance – 94% pot success at one point – but especially since the interval, he has looked very ragged, not focused at all. He looks as if he doesn’t enjoy being out there at all.’
Davis at one point described an attempted cross-double from O’Sullivan as ‘madness’ and said he has not played as badly all season.
‘Ronnie is all over the place, playing as if he doesn’t want to be out there. It cannot be the case,’ said the six-time world champ.
‘I’d suggest his average shot, 15 seconds, is maybe too fast by a couple of seconds. He is playing with an air of casualness around the table.
‘Ronnie is certainly not enjoying his day. It’s probably the worst session of snooker he’s played this season.’
The Rocket is still the heavy odds-on favourite to win the race to 10 frames against the 23-year-old, but he will need to perform considerably better than this if he gets through and runs into bigger challenges later in the tournament.
The first round match resumes at 10am on Tuesday.
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