Snooker - O'Sullivan back with a bang in Sheffield

Ronnie O'Sullivan dominated Marcus Campbell on his return to the baize, beating the veteran 10-4 in the first round of the World Championship at the Crucible in Sheffield.

Snooker - O'Sullivan back with a bang in Sheffield

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Ronnie O'Sullivan, 2013 World Championship (Getty Images)

The 'Rocket', who has barely played since winning the tournament last year - just one PTC match in September, a loss to Simon Bedford in Gloucester - made a highest break of 102 while Campbell's best was 55.

It was not, however, the faultless return from his year-long sabbatical that the score suggested and Campbell will have been disappointed not to have put more pressure on the returning champion with the Scot’s positional play letting him down on a number of occasions.

O’Sullivan took the first frame with relative comfort but Campbell produced a clearance of some quality including a delectable double on the pink to tie things up at 1-1.

The man from Scotland could have taken the next frame but again some weak positional play let the ‘Rocket’ back in and he cleared with a break of 62 to re-take the lead. The fourth quickly followed to make it 3-1 at the mid-session interval.

The fifth frame was crucial in setting the tone after the interval and after a lengthy safety exchange, O’Sullivan took it as the clock ticked towards the hour mark for the frame, clearing to the black.

The pair exchanged frames - with O'Sulllivan winning the sixth with a break of 85 - to leave the ‘Rocket’ with a 5-2 advantage before O’Sullivan took the final two frames - making a 86 in the penultimate frame - to open up a daunting 7-2 advantage going into the evening session.

O’Sullivan looked as if he was to make light work of the remaining frames as breaks of 102 and 90 saw him reel off the first two frames of the evening session at breakneck pace but Campbell showed resolve, managing to grind out the 12th frame 67-57.

A break of 53 in the 13th was enough for the Scot to pinch another and, in doing so, he took the match past the mid-session interval – although O’Sullivan was still firmly in control at 9-4.

Campbell, a tour veteran, made O’Sullivan work for the final frame as the ‘Rocket’ laboured towards the win in the end prevailing 61-37 to secure a 10-4 win.

O’Sullivan now has a week off when he will play either Ali Carter or Ben Woollaston in the next round.

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