World Snooker Championship 2023 LIVE RESULTS: Ronnie O’Sullivan back in action

Ronnie was victorious with an illness in round one

Virus-hit Ronnie O’Sullivan rose from his sick bed to book his spot in the Crucible second round.

The Essex potter, 47, began his world title defence with a 10-7 success over Chinese debutant Pang Junxu – a record-extending 75th win in these intimate surroundings.

O’Sullivan, who started feeling ill on Friday, thinks it could even be a recurrence of glandular fever that he suffered a few years ago.

He said: “I’m just relieved it’s over. I’ve got a bug. I couldn’t even stand up there. I’m in bits. I was ill about three weeks ago.

“I’ve been absolutely hanging all day all day, my legs and limbs, everything has gone.

“My couch is going to get a lot of my backside sitting on it, trust me.

“I was just so desperate to get over the line every frame. It’s a horrible feeling.

“I have a few days’ rest. Or maybe I’ll hang around the Crucible and give everyone my bug – that might be a good tactic.

“I’m so tired that I feel so relaxed, it’s mad. I cannot wait to get back to my bed. I was struggling.

“If you give any player a little sniff, then they will take you to the cleaners. You have to impose yourself.

“It’s job done. My job is to pot balls. I did it all I could. I’m grateful to be in the next round.

“I need to shift whatever is floating round my body. If I’m still like this for my next match, then scary times…”