Snooker was played before the biggest crowd in the sport’s history when Ronnie O’Sullivan stormed to a 5-0 win over Ng On Yee in the Hong Kong Masters.
More than 5,000 spectators were in attendance to see O’Sullivan progress in just 52 minutes at the Hong Kong Coliseum, beating the previous record of 3,000 set at the same tournament in 2017.
Visitor numbers in the UK have never exceeded 2,500.
“It was nice,” O’Sullivan said of playing in front of a huge crowd. “Every event in Asia is fantastic, they support really well. They really are like big events.
“It’s nice to play in front of an enthusiastic audience and it makes you want to play well for them.”
O’Sullivan meets Neil Robertson in the semifinals after a 5-3 win from Australia’s Mark Williams, who had to rush to Hong Kong at the last minute to replace Zhao Xintong after testing positive for the Chinese player for Covid-19.
The Rocket added: “Playing against high quality opponents and knowing you have to do your best motivates you to perform well.
“These are special events and you want to attend as many of them as you can.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/hong-kong-sullivan-snooker-ronnie-osullivan-mark-williams-b2198252.html Snooker sets new attendance record as Ronnie O’Sullivan advances in Hong Kong