© Reuters. BetVictor Welsh Open Final
SHEFFIELD, England (Reuters) – Ronnie O’Sullivan begins defending the World Championship with a 10-4 win over Mark Joyce on Saturday as fans are allowed to return to sporting events in England for the first time in this year.
More than 600 tickets were sold for three sessions at Crucible as part of the government’s pilot plan to help the sport get out of lockdown after loosening COVID-19 restrictions.
Six-time world champion O’Sullivan, 45, was playing on the first day of the tournament and despite a bad start, he was never intimidated by Joyce as he entertained the downcast crowd less.
O’Sullivan told the BBC: “It’s really nice to have a crowd because if there is no crowd, I can sit down in my lower chair.” “You always want to keep them happy because they pay them for a good night out.
“I’m satisfied that I played well at the end of the game. It was a disaster until … when I started to play well …”
Organizers are hoping that a crowd of 980 people will be able to watch the final on May 2.
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