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Anthony McGill relishing Ronnie O’Sullivan test at World Snooker Championship


Anthony McGill was impressive in his first round win (Picture: Getty Images)

Anthony McGill is relishing the prospect of facing Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last 16 of the World Snooker Championship, barely being able to contain his excitement at the prospect.

The Scot was in fine form in his opening round win over Ricky Walden, winning 10-5 with breaks of 130, 119 and five half-centuries along the way.

O’Sullivan also found some impressive rhythm in the latter stages of his first round win over Mark Joyce, making three straight centuries to complete a 10-4 win on Saturday.

McGill is far from intimidated by the defending champion, though, and is excited to test himself out against the consensus greatest player of all time.

Alan McManus suggested to his compatriot that he could be in with a chance of winning the title this year in Sheffield, and McGill feels he will be able to gauge his chances after taking on the Rocket.

‘I’ll find out in the next round because I’m playing the guy that won it last year,’ McGill told the BBC after beating Walden. ‘If I win that then maybe.

‘I’m going to have to play like that or maybe even better, because I’m playing the best ever.

‘I’m looking forward to it, that’s the kind of match that puts a smile on your face, obviously, the prospect of it.’

O’Sullivan finished his first round win on a real high against Joyce (Picture: Getty Images)

McGill was beaming as he said those words, quickly returning to his more stoic demeanour.

The 30-year-old found himself 3-2 behind to Walden in his first round match and knows that there will be plenty of sticky patches against the Rocket, but will try to deal with them appropriately.

‘I made enough mistakes in that match,’ he said. ‘That’s going to happen, you just try and forget about it.’

O’Sullivan and McGill begin the first of their three sessions on Thursday with the second two played on Friday for a place in the quarter-finals.

McGill has had a quiet season so far after reaching the semi-finals at the Crucible last season, but has seemingly found form again ahead of the biggest event on the calendar.

He practices alongside John Higgins and Stephen Maguire on a regular basis in Glasgow and says he is learning plenty from the Wizard.

‘I’m just trying a thing to do in my delivery, trying to cue flat through the ball,’ he explained.

‘I’m practicing with John Higgins every day and the way John cues the ball it’s as if the balls aren’t there.

‘Rather than hitting at the white, it’s just more of a feel…’

O’Sullivan and McGill have met six times before and the Rocket has won on every occasion, most recently in the semi-finals of the 2017 English Open, but they have not met since 2014 other than that.

The Scot is clearly not suffering with any scars of those contests as he looks forward to the chance of ousting the defending champion from the Crucible.


MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan weighs up the World Snooker Championship favourites


MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan battles his own ‘exhausting’ mind as much as Mark Joyce in World Snooker Championship first round win

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