Defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan steps up his quest for a record eighth world title with a Quarter-Final battle against Luca Brecel at The Crucible.
O’Sullivan is back at the sport’s spiritual home on a quest to make history by eclipsing the joint record of seven world titles he currently shares with Stephen Hendry.
The Rocket regained the world crown courtesy of an emotional victory over rival Judd Trump in last year’s final, becoming the oldest World Champion in the sport’s history at 46 years and 148 days.
He also broke Hendry’s record of 70 wins at The Crucible and is out to make it number 77 at the expense of the Belgian number one.
While O’Sullivan has not picked up a ranking title since that memorable triumph last May, he has gone on to win the Hong Kong Masters and Champion of Champions titles this season and remains the world number one.
Making a record 31st consecutive Crucible appearance, the Essex superstar is vying to reach the Semi-Finals for the 14th time.
O’Sullivan launched his title defence with a 10-7 victory over Chinese debutant Pang Junxu on Day One, before emphatically thrashing his outspoken rival Hossein Vafaei 13-2 with a session to spare.
In doing so, the 47-year-old surpassed the 1,200 mark for career centuries, and his show-down with Brecel marks his 100th World Championship match at The Crucible.
Brecel is already in uncharted territory, having banished his Crucible demons after previously losing in the opening round in all five of his appearances.
The 28-year-old has had to do it the hard way, edging out Ricky Walden 10-9 before narrowly overcoming three-time World Champion Mark Williams 13-11 in the Last 16.
Winner of three ranking titles, including this season’s Championship League, Brecel is bidding for his first taste of the hallowed one-table setup in Sheffield by tearing up the script.
He last faced O’Sullivan at The Masters at Ally Pally in January – where the home favourite fired in two centuries en route to a dominant 6-1 victory.
O’Sullivan has won three of their four previous meetings, with Brecel’s only head-to-head success so far coming at the 2017 China Championship – where he went on to claim his first ranking title.
The match gets under way from 10am BST on Tuesday April 25 for a maximum of eight frames, resuming from 7pm, before being played to a finish from 2.30pm on Wednesday over the best of 25.
Either Anthony McGill or debutant qualifier Si Jiahui will await the winner in the Semi-Finals on Thursday.
How to watch O’Sullivan v Brecel live stream
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