McGill relishing Rocket challenge after seeing off Walden

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Anthony McGill is relishing the challenge of toppling reigning champion Ronnie O'Sullivan in the World Championship second round
Anthony McGill is relishing the challenge of toppling reigning champion Ronnie O'Sullivan in the World Championship second round

A SCINTILLATING session of snooker saw Anthony McGill cruise into the second round of the World Snooker Championship but the Scot believes he will have to step up another gear to shock ‘the best ever’ Ronnie O’Sullivan, writes Luke Baker.

McGill’s first-round contest with Ricky Walden looked destined for a close finish with the Scot leading just 5-4 overnight but he produced a majestic display on Monday evening to secure a 10-5 triumph.

The 16th seed smashed in breaks of 83 and 130 in the first two frames of the session before Englishman Walden responded with a run of 98.

But the Glaswegian won the final frame before the mid-session interval to move 8-5 ahead, before runs of 69 and 58 clinched a convincing win and moved him a step closer to repeating his 2020 heroics of a run to the semi-finals

Next up is a mouth-watering best-of-25 encounter against six-time world champion O’Sullivan and if McGill reproduces the form he showed against Walden, then victory appears a distinct possibility – although he’s under no illusions about the challenge ahead.

“It was a cracking win because Ricky is class,” said McGill. “Usually if I beat a player like Ricky, I don’t beat them by that much [10-5].

“My performance was very good and I felt really good out there – I'm delighted. The result is all that matters but I’m happy with the way I played.

“I'm going to have to play like that and maybe even better against Ronnie if I want to come through. Three sessions against the best ever, I can’t wait!”

Watch the World Snooker Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport app from April 17- May 3