Ronnie O’Sullivan won his first three matches of the new snooker season at the Championship League on Monday in Leicester.
The Rocket was competiting on the Main Tour for the first time since landing a record-equalling seventh World Championship crown in May.
In Group 1 of the Championship League, O’Sullivan got his new snooker term off to the perfect start by topping the table with nine points.
The 46 year-old comfortably overcame amateur top-up Farakh Ajaib 3-0 in his opening fixture before beating Alfie Burden 3-1.
With a superior frame difference, O’Sullivan needed only a draw from his last clash against Alexander Ursenbacher – the Swiss having also won his first couple of ties.
When the latter compiled a 105 century break to make it 1-1, an upset briefly appeared to be on the cards, but O’Sullivan responded with a break of 58 and a ton of his own to safely advance to the last 32.
Elsewhere, Jamie Jones dominated Group 27 with early defeats of Andres Petrov and David Lilley before a 2-2 draw against Sam Craigie.
The Welshman compiled a brace of centuries throughout the day’s play, and alongside O’Sullivan he’ll feature in Stage Two of the competition later this month.
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The action at the Morningside Arena continues on Tuesday, meanwhile, with Groups 15 and 32 from the drawn-out Stage One to be completed.
Three-time former ranking event winner Ricky Walden fronts Group 15 with Jackson Page, Gerard Greene, and Andy Lee also in the fold.
In Group 32, China’s Xiao Guodong will enter the fray in addition to Scott Donaldson, Rod Lawler, and Nutcharut Wongharuthai.
Live coverage is available on FreeSports and Matchroom.Live in the UK and Ireland, and by various other means around the world.
Click here to view the draw (times: CET)
Featured photo credit: WST