Shanghai Masters - Live Stream

18+ | Geo restrictions may apply | Be Gamble Aware

O’Sullivan hails “unbelievable” Brecel after crashing out at The Crucible

Left arrow

Anthony McGill v Si Jiahui live stream | World Snooker Championship 2023 preview

Right arrow

Luca Brecel admits “partying” and being “drunk as hell” ahead of victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan and Brecel face off again (Photo by Zac Goodwin/Alamy/PA Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan would love to see “unbelievable” Luca Brecel win the World Snooker Championship following his Crucible exit to the Belgian.

The Rocket’s quest for a record-breaking eighth title ended after an uncharacteristically poor display saw him remarkably lose seven successive frames against the inspired Bullet, who booked his place in the semi-finals by sealing a 13-10 victory.

O’Sullivan led 10-6 heading into Wednesday’s concluding session, requiring just three more frames to reach a 14th World Championship semi-final.

But Brecel had other ideas. After clearing to the pink to take the opener, he pounced on his opponent’s mistakes with contributions of 112, 64 and 72 to level the contest at the mid-session interval.

The trend continued upon its resumption, the Rocket not firing at all and the Bullet capitalising with further runs of 61, 78 and 63 to cap a stunning victory.

Nevertheless, O’Sullivan had warm words for his opponent, who he is confident can now go all the way at the Crucible.

“He played unbelievable. He’s such a good player, I love watching him play,” he told BBC Sport. “He goes through the ball so well, it’s incredible – the whip he gets on the white, the top spin, the thud he hits the ball with.

“He’s such a dynamic player, full of talent – probably the most talented snooker player I’ve ever seen. I’d love to see him go and win it just for snooker, because that’s how snooker should be played.

“If I’d have put up a bit more resistance, maybe he wouldn’t have played as well. If I’d have at least put some balls together, but I didn’t put up any resistance.

“I’m not sure he’ll be allowed that much movement if another top player plays well, because they’ll stop the momentum. I just wasn’t playing well enough to have an impact on the game.

“I was just pinching frames and hanging on. There’s only so much hanging on you can do at the Crucible. It catches up with you at some point. Eventually, someone plays well against you and puts you away, and that’s what he did.”

Earlier in the day, Mark Allen was the first player to book his place in the semi-finals after defeating Jak Jones by the same scoreline.

Locked at 8-8, the players shared the first four frames of the final session. However, Allen’s experience and tactical nous proved decisive as he won the last three frames to advance to the one-table setup for the first time since 2009.

Latest Snooker Free Bet Offers (18+)

Bet365 New Customer offer: Bet £10 and Get £30 in Free Bets

CLICK HERE TO CLAIM THIS OFFER

*18+ only. New Customers only. Bet £10* & Get £30* in Free Bets. Sign up, deposit between £5* and £10* to your account and bet365 will give you three times that value in Free Bets when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. BeGambleAware.org. *or currency equivalent.

Sky Bet New Customer offer: Get £30 in Free Bets when you place any first bet

CLICK HERE TO CLAIM THIS OFFER

*New customers only. First single or E/W bet only. 5p minimum stake. 3x £10 Bet Tokens. Free Bet Stakes not included in returns. Free Bets exclude virtuals and are non-withdrawable. Eligibility restrictions and further T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org

Bet UK New Customer offer: Bet £10 and Get £30 in Free Bets

CLICK HERE TO CLAIM THIS OFFER

Full T&Cs apply. New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable, and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+. BeGambleAware.org.