Five-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has been knocked out of the 2019 World Championships 10-8 in a shock defeat to Amateur James Cahill.
The loss, which is already being dubbed the biggest upset in Crucible history, came after O’Sullivan had been trailing 5-4 in frames overnight however most felt he would easily bounce back to defeat Cahill on Tuesday.
The world number one though struggled and found himself 8-5 down missing a handful of easy chances against the amateur who doesn’t even have a world ranking.
O’Sullivan levelled it up however and was expected to brush Cahill aside in the closing frames but instead the 23-year old showed incredible composure to keep his form up and advance to round two, where he will face Scotland’s Stephen Maguire.
“I could barely stand up at the end,” the Blackpool native told BBC Sport. “I am not really sure what to say.
“I scored a good pressure 70 to go 6-5 up and after that I felt like he was the one under pressure. He didn’t want to lose to me.
“I have always believed in myself and that I can beat anyone on my day. I want to show what I can do now.”
Speaking after the shocking loss, O’Sullivan outlined that he did not feel 100% during the game, but praised Cahill’s mindset and will to win.
“I felt horrendous. I was struggling to stay awake,” the 43-year-old said.
“I haven’t felt great for a few weeks and I have not slept brilliantly the past couple of nights.
“You have to come here physically and mentally well. If you are not 100% it will make it harder. I tried to hang in there and get through and have a few days off.
“He did well. He held himself together. It’s been a very successful season for me, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
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