Masters 2015: Ronnie O'Sullivan equals Stephen Hendry's record
|Dates: 11-18 January. Venue: Alexandra Palace. Coverage: Live on BBC TV and online.|
Defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan equalled Stephen Hendry's all-time centuries record of 775 as he beat Ricky Walden 6-4 in the Masters.
O'Sullivan compiled hundreds in the sixth and 10th frame in the first round at Alexandra Palace in London.
Walden failed to capitalise on opportunities as O'Sullivan went 5-1 ahead before his opponent hit back.
He made a hundred of his own and took another two but O'Sullivan progressed and faces Marco Fu in the next round.
"I could have had it earlier on," O'Sullivan told BBC Sport. "You start to make silly mistakes when you are chasing a record. I scraped over the line."
Hendry, who turned 46 today, reacted by saying: "I am not bothered, it was a matter of time [before it was beaten]."
O'Sullivan began the tournament on 773 career tons but soon matched seven-time world champion Hendry's record.
'The Rocket' was given a let off against Walden, who he defeated 6-0 at the quarter-final stage last year, when he put together a record 556 unanswered points.
Walden was on the verge of going out, but reduced the arrears to 5-4, before O'Sullivan fluked a yellow as he made the record-equalling break of 116 for victory.
In the evening match, Ali Carter eased past Barry Hawkins with a 6-1 victory.