Typical Ronnie O’Sullivan, it was as the World Championship eased into action. The serial winner is well-known for cruising through games, but not many would have thought Thepchaiya Un-Nooh to be an easy beat. The latter clearly had no weapons in his arsenal. Or perhaps, they were just not enough to match that of his 44-year-old opponent. Putting things in perspective, Thepchaiya Un-Nooh brought a pen knife to a gun battle, and Ronnie made him pay dearly for such carelessness.
The Thailand champion would be gutted at having his hopes dashed even before the start of the race. The game needed only nine frames to decide the winner, with Ronnie coming out tops in eight of them and his Thai opponent managing only one win.
Ronnie, a five-time champion, cruised to an 8-1 win in his opening game, hitting breaks of 74, 88 and 76. He dominated the game from start to finish and didn’t let his opponent in till the seventh frame. Un-Nooh failed to stamp his foot in the game till the seventh frame. As expected, that was too late a time to challenge the 44-year-old.
O’Sullivan rounded up the following two frames to advance to the next round. It was a commanding performance from Ronnie, who carefully picked out his weapons, lined them up, and harrowed them through the hearts of his opponent. The five-time world champion showed no mercy at the table, punishing every error made by his opponent.
Un-Nooh was at different times guilty of some costly misses and would have no one to blame but himself. He looked vulnerable almost throughout the game while the ‘livid’ Ronnie carefully exploited these vulnerabilities like a fisherman patiently waiting all night for a big fish to latch onto his bait.
He would be remembered for sometime to come as the only player after Luo Honghao and Eddie Charlton to suffer such heavy defeat. Ronnie will be preparing for another action on Monday and possibly another whitewash.
Ronnie was simply clinical and sublime from start to finish. If he continues on this form, he’s going to need a lot of stopping. As for Un-Nooh, all roads end here.
Written by: Roland Arum