Ronnie O’Sullivan said he was thinking too much in the first session of his 10-4 win over Mark Joyce at the World Snooker Championships on Saturday.
The reigning champion was 6-3 up after the first session which was marked by a number of errors from O’Sullivan, who is yet to win a tournament this year despite reaching five finals.
However in the second session he won 4-1, and the last three frames featured a century in each of them. The first century meant he had a 100-plus break in each of his last 23 matches, and at least one in each of the last 27 years.
'Dreadful and embarrassing' – Ford slams performance despite winning group
- O'Sullivan hits three successive centuries to seal Joyce win in style
- 'Dramatic!' - Outrageous double sees O'Sullivan snatch key frame
- Crucible falls silent to remember Prince Philip
Speaking to Eurosport after his win, O’Sullivan said he had to clear his head after the first session.
“Just too much thinking: How am I standing? How am I cueing,” he explained.
“In the end it was so draining. In my hotel it felt like I’d done 17 days already.
“I thought, ‘We’re not going to be able to sustain this,’ so I thought. ‘you’ve got to stop thinking.’
“I managed to stop doing that but if I can keep it up is another thing.”
'Finally arrived!' - O'Sullivan moves through the gears to notch first century of Worlds
O’Sullivan said that he had been working with sport psychologist Steve Peters as he attempted to keep hold of his title.
“Your cueing action is your cueing action,” he said.
“Just trying to think clearly, just stop thinking. If we knew how to do that we’d be richer than Jeff Bezos.
“We all want to get into the zone, and it’s tough. I’ve worked with Steve Peters and he’s here with me today.
“Here’s a few techniques you can use. It worked for those four frames. I’ve something to work with for the next four days. It’s a marathon. You want to come good towards the end.”
'A bit rusty' – Hawkins aims to impress after starting season with victory
Trump, O’Sullivan and Hendry commit to British Open