Ronnie O’Sullivan has broken the record for the most Crucible match victories at the World Snooker Championship.
The Rocket’s 13-4 triumph against Mark Allen in the last 16 of the 2022 tournament on Saturday brings his tally to 71.
That eclipses Stephen Hendry’s total of 70 that stood since the Scot’s last win at the Crucible ten years ago.
O’Sullivan first competed at the Crucible in 1993 as a qualifier, losing to Alan McManus in the first round.
Across 30 appearances the Englishman has only failed to win at least one match in Sheffield in three more visits – in 2000, 2003, and most recently in 2019.
O’Sullivan’s maiden success at the home of snooker came in the 1994 tournament when he beat former world champion Dennis Taylor 10-6 in the last 32.
Since then, he has counted so many of the greats as one of his victims – including Hendry, John Higgins, Mark Williams, and Mark Selby.
The 46 year-old has of course gone all the way and undefeated on six occasions, capturing his first title in 2001 with an 18-14 defeat of Higgins in the final.
Further glories followed in 2004, 2008, 2012, 2013, and in 2020 when his triumph moved him to within just one of Hendry’s seven Crucible crowns.
That will be the next target for the world number one, and he’s now three wins away from achieving that feat this year.
Most Wins at the Crucible Theatre
O’Sullivan was in ruthless form against an out-of-sorts and under-pressure Allen, who could never get into the game after falling behind early on.
Two century breaks and a plethora of other sizable contributions took this season’s World Grand Prix champion to within one frame of victory after the first two sessions.
O’Sullivan duly wrapped up the record-breaking 71st Crucible win by taking the opening frame of their third session on Saturday afternoon.
Stephen Maguire will be his opponent in the last eight after the Scot ousted UK champion Zhao Xintong with a 13-9 scoreline.
Featured photo credit: WST