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Ronnie O’Sullivan to Play Jimmy White in Welsh Open

The “Rocket” is bidding for a record-equalling fifth Welsh Open title this week.

Ronnie O’Sullivan will play Jimmy White in the second round of the Welsh Open after beating Robbie Williams 4-0 on Tuesday at the Celtic Manor.

O’Sullivan was in fine form as he knocked in breaks of 122, 73, 66, and 56 in a rapid whitewash display.



The 45 year-old has performed strongly in the Home Nations tournaments this season, reaching the finals of both the Northern Ireland and Scottish Opens during the first half of the campaign.

White received a bye from his first-round encounter after opponent Mark Joyce was forced to withdraw.

It’s the first time that Ronnie and Jimmy – friends off the table and colleagues as part of the Eurosport punditry team – will do battle since the 2019 Champion of Champions.

On that occasion, the “Whirlwind” raced into an unlikely 3-0 lead only for O’Sullivan to fight back and deny the Londoner in a decider.

It is more than 15 years since White last earned a victory over O’Sullivan, and ironically his last success over the world champion in a ranking event occurred in this very tournament way back in 2000.

Meanwhile, home favourite Mark Williams and Masters champion Yan Bingtao were among the others to make it through their initial tests as the last 128 reached its conclusion on the second day.

Williams overcame countryman Michael White 4-1 while China’s Yan repeated the scoreline later against compatriot Xu Si.

Williams and Yan are two from a host of competitors who are attempting to break into the top 16 on the one-year rankings list in time to qualify for next week’s Players Championship.

Surprise reverses for Stuart Bingham and Lu Ning, however, mean that both will be looking over their shoulders ahead of next week’s lucrative event.

Welsh amateur Dylan Emery was inspired on home soil to edge Lu, while Bingham succumbed to a 4-2 beating from Robert Milkins.

The pair currently lie in 13th and 14th provisionally and could still be assured of their spots in the 16-player field, but they must wait to see if other results go their way.

Elsewhere, Jack Lisowski, twice a beaten finalist in ranking events this term, and recent Shoot Out king Ryan Day secured 4-3 triumphs.

Lisowski almost blew a 3-0 lead before just about scrambling through in the seventh frame against Lei Peifan, but Day saved his best for last with a magnificent 141 total clearance to clinch his victory over Ian Burns.

Former champion Ali Carter was another notable name to advance alongside Kyren Wilson, David Gilbert, Ricky Walden, and Graeme Dott.

The last 64 takes place on Wednesday, with live coverage available on BBC Wales, the BBC Red Button, Eurosport, Quest, and by various other options around the world.

Click here to view the Welsh Open draw (Scheduled times in CET)

Featured photo credit: Monique Limbos



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World Rankings Top 16

World Rankings after the English Open – won by Neil Robertson.

1. Mark Selby
2. Judd Trump
3. Ronnie O’Sullivan
4. Neil Robertson
5. Kyren Wilson
6. Shaun Murphy
7. John Higgins
8. Stephen Maguire
9. Mark Williams
10. Ding Junhui
11. Mark Allen
12. Yan Bingtao
13. Stuart Bingham
14. Barry Hawkins
15. Jack Lisowski
16. Anthony McGill

Fin Ruane Snooker Academy