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O'Sullivan through to second round in Sheffield

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O'Sullivan through to second round in Sheffield

Ronnie O'Sullivan safely progressed to the second round of the World Championship in Sheffield by beating Crucible debutant Gary Wilson 10-7.

Five-time champion O'Sullivan went 5-1 up in Saturday's first session, including a 122 break, but former taxi driver Wilson then won three in a row.

On Sunday, O'Sullivan made 124, 83 and 74 to go 9-5 ahead, Wilson hitting back with 103 before succumbing.

An animated O'Sullivan greeted victory by repeatedly punching the air.

Former world number one O'Sullivan won the most recent of his five world titles in 2013.

This year, he is only third favourite behind Judd Trump and defending champion Mark Selby thanks to an inconsistent season in which he has reached four major finals but claimed just one title.

His victory at the Masters for a record seventh time in January was the last time he won consecutive matches in a tournament - a run of five events.

At Alexandra Palace, O'Sullivan spoke about "missing too many easy balls" and the problem was evident early on in Sheffield as he struggled to clinch frames when given an opportunity.

But the world number 12 improved significantly in the second session and next faces another former champion in Shaun Murphy or Chinese 17-year-old Yan Bingtao.



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Wallsend player Wilson had shown his class in qualifying by making a maximum 147 break and seven further centuries.

The world number 59 did display his high-scoring ability with breaks of 103 and 100 and said he felt "comfortable" in his first appearance at the event.

He added: "In one way I am pleased. I did not give him it and he had to work for it.

"I felt if it got close, I had a chance of winning. It could have been closer earlier on and I was sat thinking it should be 8-8.

"You can't be too disappointed in your first time at the Crucible and I've shown what I am capable of."

In the afternoon's other game, Kyren Wilson beat another Crucible first-timer, David Grace, 10-6.

Wilson - a beaten finalist in this season's Indian Open - stroked in 93 and 72 against the Yorkshireman, who performed well with breaks of 104 and 75.

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