Ronnie O'Sullivan suffers shock defeat to amateur James Cahill

Deputy Head of Sport
Yahoo Sport UK
Ronnie O'Sullivan faces the media after his defeat to James Cahill. (Credit: Getty Images)
Ronnie O'Sullivan faces the media after his defeat to James Cahill. (Credit: Getty Images)

Amateur snooker player James Cahill caused one of the biggest shocks in the sport’s history Tuesday by defeating the great Ronnie O’Sullivan in the first round of the World Championship.

Cahill, who is the first ever amateur to play at the tournament and doesn’t have a world ranking, beat five-time world champion O’Sullivan 10-8 at the Crucible in Sheffield.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

The 23-year-old qualifier led the world No. 1 5-4 overnight and survived a rally from O’Sullivan - who levelled the match at 8-8 - to record the biggest victory of his career.

James Cahill is congratulated by Ronnie O'Sullivan at The Crucible, Sheffield.
James Cahill is congratulated by Ronnie O'Sullivan at The Crucible, Sheffield.

“I believe I can beat anyone on the day,” Cahill told the BBC.

“I don’t really know,” he asked on how he handled the pressure. “I thought I was going to fall over at one point.

“I thought I’d be nervous when I went out there today but I wasn’t. I was a bit tense in parts but I think I have shown quite a bit of bottle.

“It was nice to qualify and it was nice to beat Ronnie.”

It’s the first time O’Sullivan had exited the tournament at this stage since 2003. He has struggled with insomnia and spoke about it after the defeat.

Ronnie O'Sullivan appears dejected during his defeat to James Cahill.
Ronnie O'Sullivan appears dejected during his defeat to James Cahill.

“My limbs are feeling very heavy. I have no energy,” said the 43-year-old. “You come here and try to do your best but if you’re physically not 100 per cent it’s just one of those things.

“I tried to hang in there and get through this match and have a few days off before my next match.

“There are two ways of looking at it. One is, he has come here and played brilliantly. But I also left him some easy chances.”

Featured from our writers:

What to read next