Ronnie O’Sullivan steps up his quest for a record-equalling seventh World Championship title with a Second Round clash against Anthony McGill at The Crucible.
O’Sullivan is bidding to equal Stephen Hendry’s record tally world titles by successfully defending the crown for the second time, having done so in 2012/2013.
The Rocket cruised through his opening tie on Day One in Sheffield by sweeping aside debutant Mark Joyce 10-4 with a burst of three consecutive centuries to close out the match.
He returned to the sport’s spiritual home having lost in five consecutive ranking finals this season for the first time in his career.
O’Sullivan has seemingly thrived in the behind closed doors environments but is now back under the microscope in front of a limited capacity crowd at The Crucible.
His astonishing longevity is underlined by the fact he has featured in every World Championship since 1993, winning six of his seven finals and reaching the Semi-Finals on 12 occasions.
The 45-year-old has lost at the Last 16 stage here on five occasions, most recently at the hands of rival Ali Carter in 2018, but enters this encounter with a 100 per cent record over McGill.
O’Sullivan has won all six of their previous meetings over the past decade, most notably and most recently in the Semi-Finals of the 2017 English Open, though this will be their first match in a format above best of 11.
McGill is aiming to atone for last year’s Semi-Final heartbreak in Sheffield which saw him come out on the wrong end of an historic deciding frame against Kyren Wilson.
The Scotsman had come through epic deciders against Jack Lisowski and Jamie Clarke en route to the Semis but was left to ponder what might have been as he was denied a final show-down with O’Sullivan.
Quarter-finalist on his debut in 2015, McGill boasts a fine record at the sport’s spiritual home, which he continued with a dominant 10-5 defeat of Ricky Walden in Round One.
The number 16 seed has not been beyond the Last 16 stage of a ranking event this season but will hope to rectify that in the biggest event of all to record a long-awaited first triumph over one of the all-time greats.
The match gets underway from 1pm BST on Thursday April 22 for a total of eight frames, before resuming at 10am on Friday and being played to a finish over the best of 25 from 7pm that evening.
Either 2015 World Champion Stuart Bingham or resurgent Welshman Jamie Jones will await the winner in the Quarter-Finals.
The match will be available to watch live on desktop, mobile or tablet devices in the UK and various other regions worldwide.
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