Sports

World Snooker Championship 2024: Luca Brecel ‘didn’t like attention’ of being champion

  • By Michael Emons
  • BBC Sport on the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Image supply, Getty Images

Image caption, Luca Brecel was 6-3 and 9-6 forward however misplaced 10-9 to David Gilbert after a deciding body

Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. Dates: 20 April-6 May.

Coverage: Watch dwell on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport web site and BBC Sport cell app; dwell textual content protection of chosen matches; updates on Radio 5 Live.

Last 12 months’s Crucible winner Luca Brecel stated he “was looking forward to not being world champion again” after he was defeated 10-9 by David Gilbert.

Brecel stated he had been combating a throat an infection since March, however didn’t use that as an excuse for shedding.

“I wanted to go for a run but it wasn’t possible and it has been a bit tough these few weeks,” stated Brecel, 29.

“Maybe if I used to be not defending champion I’d’ve pulled out, nevertheless it’s too large to tug out when you find yourself seeded and defending world champion.

“I used to be coughing all day nevertheless it’s not an excuse: I used to be simply not adequate. I missed some balls and he performed effectively and stored preventing.”

Brecel beat former world champions Mark Williams, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Mark Selby to win his first world title in 2023. However, he stated there have been some down sides of being the world champion.

“It was a great 12 months, however I look ahead to not being a world champion once more – I do not like all the eye,” added Brecel. “I’ve been ready for the season to finish for a couple of weeks. It’s only a sport, why do you have to be comfortable for those who win and unhappy for those who lose?”

Gilbert, 31st on this planet rankings, reached the semi-finals in 2019 and performs both England’s 16th seed Robert Milkins or China’s Pang Junxu within the final 16 on Thursday.

Brecel wasted match-winning alternatives in each the 16th and 18th frames and 42-year-old Gilbert admitted he had ridden his luck.

“At 8-5 down, it was the worst for me however Luca was struggling and he ought to’ve received at 9-6,” said Gilbert. “Then I discovered my rhythm and it was a very laborious sport. Huge respect for Luca, he’s good for snooker.

“It has been a while since I won a game in a proper arena and hopefully I can build on it. I don’t want it to stop there. He said ‘I hope you win it’ and that means a lot coming from him. He has always been a lovely lad.”

Brecel’s elimination means the so-called ‘Crucible Curse’, the place no first-time champion has retained their title the next 12 months, continues.

“Everyone was asking questions about it,” stated Brecel. “I think I would’ve had a chance if I’d won this match but I wasn’t capable of doing it.”

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