Ronnie O'Sullivan has lit up the Crucible for the last three decades but will never cease to stun fans with his daring snooker genius, writes Will Jennings.
The Rocket once more provided a moment of World Snooker Championship brilliance on Friday, as he duelled it out with world No.11 Ding Junhui on the storied Sheffield baize in a mouth-watering second round clash.
Trailing 3-2 after an absorbing first five frames, the five-time world champion had racked up just a solitary point in the sixth before playing what can only be described as the positional shot of the tournament so far.
With access to the cue ball limited up on the top-left cushion, O’Sullivan was eyeing up a relatively straightforward-looking black into the right-middle to extend his lead to eight and kickstart a much-needed break of note.
But he had it all to do positionally, with all the reds congested at the other end of the table and needing to generate a level of spin even Shane Warne would be proud of to end up in his desired destination.
The Rocket’s cue power was immense as he struck the white and the black flew into its target, sending the cue ball whizzing towards the bottom cushion in a mesmeric arc.
From there it flew back to the baulk end and after cannoning off the far cushion, went up and down the table twice to nestle in the perfect position near the pink to set him up for an easy pot into the left-middle.
He drained that with aplomb to lay the foundations for yet another thrilling century break, as he went on to make a majestic 101 to restore parity in the contest.
The score ended 4-4 heading into Saturday’s second session but it was that instance of genius that marked the highlight of the opening eight frames, as O’Sullivan continues to make moments of Crucible magic on his 28th appearance in Sheffield.
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