Masters: Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Mark Williams in first round

O'Sullivan triumphs in dramatic decider
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London Dates: 10-17 January Sessions: 13:00 and 19:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport app, Connected TVs and online.

Ronnie O'Sullivan made a winning return in his first major tournament for nine months with a 6-5 victory over Mark Williams in the Masters first round.

Five-time world and Masters champion O'Sullivan took a break from the sport after last April's World Championship.

'Incredible' Selby whitewashes Walden

Trailing 4-2, he won three straight frames before securing his place in the quarter-finals after Williams missed a plant in the dramatic decider.

O'Sullivan will face Mark Selby, who thrashed Ricky Walden 6-0.

Selby, who has won the title three times, was in stunning form, making breaks of 71, 113, 66 and 81 to go through.

O'Sullivan had chosen not to play competitive snooker after losing to Stuart Bingham in the 2015 World Championship quarter-finals.

He returned to play in qualifying for the German Masters in December but failed to reach the main stages, winning his first match before suffering a shock defeat against Stuart Carrington.

A miscue in the third frame against two-time world champion Williams seemed to spoil O'Sullivan's rhythm as he struggled in front of a raucous crowd.

Ronnie O'Sullivan 'lucky' to get through

However, breaks of 104, 60 and 117 gave him a 5-4 lead, and O'Sullivan sealed victory with a 62 after the Welshman took the match to the final frame.

"I was lucky to get through," O'Sullivan, 40, told BBC Sport. "We both didn't play well.

"When I was 4-2 down, I had nothing to lose and I loosened up a little.

"I didn't feel nervous but it is a nightmare tournament. I only live a few miles away from here. It is mayhem and a circus."

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