|Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 31 July-16 August|
|Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app. Full details and times.|
Five-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan completed his first-round demolition of Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-1 in a World Championship record 108 minutes.
O’Sullivan was at his destructive best in Sunday’s first session with two centuries and five further breaks of 60 or more to open an 8-1 lead.
And the Englishman took less than half an hour on Monday morning to win the two frames needed to end the match.
O’Sullivan will face China’s Ding Junhui in the second round.
The victory, in which O’Sullivan averaged 14 seconds per shot, smashed the previous record for the quickest match by 41 minutes, set last year by Shaun Murphy in his 10-0 whitewash of Luo Honghao.
O’Sullivan spoke before the tournament about players being treated like “lab rats” with a limited number of spectators allowed into the Crucible Theatre on the opening day, but changes in government guidelines meant none were permitted to attend thereafter.
Speaking after his first match, O’Sullivan told BBC Sport: “I prefer it. I do not have to deal with the pressure and expectation of the crowd, getting in and out of the venue, and so much less is put on my shoulders.
“It feels like a holiday buzz and I can stay in a hotel close to the venue. Previously it has been difficult for me to get any peace and quiet.
“I am very private, and I don’t socialise much. Everybody is welcome to my world now, it suits my life.”
‘The Rocket’ seemed to be revelling in the silence and lack of distractions inside the auditorium and heavily punished any error made by Un-Nooh.
He opened with breaks of 101, 85, 115 and 74 for a 4-0 lead, knocking in further runs of 88, 76 and 65 for a seven-frame cushion overnight, adding 93 in the morning session.
O’Sullivan suffered a shock first-round defeat by amateur James Cahill last year but this win sets up a tantalising tie against China’s Ding, which starts on Friday.
‘Ronnie looks like he is practising’ – analysis
Former Masters champion Alan McManus on BBC Two:
O’Sullivan usually plays that sort of speed, 15/16 seconds a shot but he looks well prepared and is hitting the ball well. It’s just whether he can last the pace. This tournament is littered with examples of guys starting strongly but not finishing well.
Neil Robertson won heavily in first and second rounds then came unstuck against John Higgins last year. You have to re-set after every match but Ronnie has been here often enough and knows how to do that.
Easing through 10-1, everyone has spoken about the 17-day event but Ronnie doesn’t play until Friday now and that might play into his hands but he has a tough match against Ding.
Ronnie looks like he is practising, the top players will have the feeling that you’re in the club practising but the surroundings tell you that you are at the Crucible and you feel the pressure.
China’s Yan Bingtao held off a brilliant fightback from debutant Elliot Slessor to win 10-7 and reach the second round.
Yan, 20, won his first ranking event at the Riga Masters this season and led 8-1 and 9-2 before Englishman Slessor reeled off five frames in a row.
But Yan struggled over the line by claiming the frame he required to set up a meeting with defending champion Judd Trump on Friday.
The 2005 champion Shaun Murphy has work to do against Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham, trailing 6-3 after the first session. They conclude on Tuesday at 10:00 BST.
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