Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Williams react to shock defeats to rookies
Snooker legends Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Williams were both beaten by tour rookies at the European Masters on Thursday as Aaron Hill conquered the Rocket and Peter Devlin downed the Welshman.
The two mammoth upsets occurred in the second round in Milton Keynes as 18-year-old Hill edged out O’Sullivan 5-4 and Devlin, 24, beat Williams by the same scoreline.
Given the enormous difference in experience, most would have expected the veterans to come through deciding frames but Hill made a break of 78 in his, while Devlin managed a 102 to win the match.
O’Sullivan was playing his first match since winning the World Championship in August and felt luck was against him in the final frame.
‘Look, I had my chances and if you don’t take them then this can happen,’ the Rocket told the Daily Star.
‘Things didn’t go my way in the decider, there were a couple of flukes and he held himself together pretty well.’
Williams was slightly more magnanimous in defeat, tweeting: ‘Great break last frame, fair play.’
The Welsh Potting Machine added that it is nice to see the new young talent start to emerge in the game, along with a trademark epic hashtag.
‘Nice to see some youngsters doing well in MK. #arewestartingtoseethenewyoungsterstartingtocomethough,’ he wrote.
Devlin was understandably thrilled to pick up the biggest win of his young career and in such style.
‘What a time to make a century, in a deciding frame, against someone like that, on a TV table. It is unbelievable,’ said Devastating Devlin.
‘It was great to be able to play someone like that so early on. I said from the start I wanted to be chucked in at the deep end.
‘I like cameras, I like getting involved in the whole World Snooker Tour. I don’t want to be on the backstage, I want to enjoy it. I want to make my parents proud. It was amazing.’
Devlin takes on Joe O’Connor in the next round, while Hill faces Matthew Stevens.
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