O'Sullivan British Open
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Ronnie O’Sullivan crashes out of British Open

Tournament favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan was a major casualty on day one of the British Open in Milton Keynes.

Monday’s action at the Marshall Arena was dominated by the heldover preliminary-round matches.

It marked the first piece of ranking-event snooker for a month, as the calendar finally resumed following a stagnated start to the season.

As a result, it wasn’t a surprise to see some players suffer from a bout of rustiness, and even though O’Sullivan competed in the World Mixed Doubles at the weekend, the world champion looked completely out of sorts at the British Open.

Alexander Ursenbacher took full advantage of a sloppy display, with the Swiss star sealing a third career victory over the Rocket with a 4-1 scoreline.

Shaun Murphy was another notable name who bowed out at the first hurdle – albeit in unfortunate circumstances.

The Magician appeared set to pip last year’s runner-up Gary Wilson in a dramatic decider, but upon sinking the match-winning black in the deciding frame, the cue ball inadvertently disappeared as well, gifting the 4-3 result to Wilson instead.

Several marquee names did manage to make it through to the last 64 of the competition unscathed, however.

Reigning champion Mark Williams began his British Open defence with a 4-1 defeat of Estonian rookie Andres Petrov.

Kyren Wilson, winner of last month’s European Masters, couldn’t contribute many high breaks but was still able to overpower Mark Davis 4-0.

John Higgins defied a 143 total clearance from opponent Andy Hicks to prevail 4-2, while Mark Selby got his week off to a positive start with a 4-1 success over Ricky Walden.

Judd Trump, Mark Allen, Stuart Bingham, Jack Lisowski, Zhao Xintong, Barry Hawkins, Yan Bingtao, and Anthony McGill also advanced.

The other two encounters ended in losses for another couple of the top 16 seeds, with Luca Brecel ousted by Graeme Dott and Hossein Vafaei thumped 4-0 by Joe Perry.

On Tuesday, the remaining competitors who already progressed beyond their qualifying fixtures in August will reenter the fray.

Live coverage in the UK and Ireland is on ITV4, with more options available to watch from around the world.

Last 64

Jamie Jones vs Elliot Slessor
Zhao Xintong vs Stuart Bingham
Ding Junhui vs Joe Perry
Zhang Jiankang vs Jak Jones
David Gilbert vs Lyu Haotian
Mark Selby vs Mark Joyce
Jordan Brown vs Ng On Yee
Craig Steadman vs Ben Mertens
Jack Lisowski vs Mitchell Mann
John Higgins vs Yuan Sijun
Graeme Dott vs Anthony McGill
David Grace vs Xu Si
Dean Young vs Judd Trump
Li Hang vs Mark Allen
Andy Lee vs Yan Bingtao
Gerard Greene vs Ryan Day
Lu Ning vs Zhou Yuelong
Ben Woollaston vs Mark Williams
Tian Pengfei vs Jimmy Robertson
Robbie Williams vs Lukas Kleckers
Anthony Hamilton vs Jamie Clarke
Kyren Wilson vs Barry Hawkins
Noppon Saengkham vs Fraser Patrick
Chen Zifan vs Ross Muir
John Astley vs Chang Bingyu
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh vs Matthew Stevens
Xiao Guodong vs Peter Lines
Alexander Ursenbacher vs Joe O’Connor
Dylan Emery vs Cao Yupeng
Gary Wilson vs Zhang Anda
Zhao Jianbo vs Ian Burns
Steven Hallworth vs Hammad Miah

Featured image credit: WST

One Comment

  1. The John Higgins and Andy Hicks match was a tasty affair on Monday. Their six frames saw three centuries, including a current tournament high of 143 from Hicks, and the lowest break was 81.

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