Snooker: O’Sullivan ‘deservedly out’ of Welsh Open

PUBLISHED: 08:19 03 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:19 03 March 2018

Ronnie O'Sullivan lines up a shot (pic Richard Sellers/PA)

Ronnie O'Sullivan lines up a shot (pic Richard Sellers/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Ronnie O’Sullivan admitted he got exactly what his performance deserved against John Higgins – a 5-1 thumping in the quarter-finals of the ManBetX Welsh Open.

O’Sullivan won the first frame but was barely given a look-in by Higgins, with the four-time tournament winner crashing out in Cardiff.

And the Rocket felt his display merited no better, registering a highest break of only 64.

“I knew if I didn’t find an improvement on how I’d been playing this week, John would get to my weaknesses and he did,” said the world number two.

“He exposed them and I got what I deserved. If I’d pulled the game back to 2-2 it would have been absolute daylight robbery.

“John didn’t play his best, he didn’t need to do, but he’s so different class.”

O’Sullivan has had a record-breaking season, with an unmatched four ranking titles and a prize money haul of close to a million pounds.

But the Wizard of Wishaw conjured up superb century clearances of 113 and 101 to claim a deserved victory.

O’Sullivan let leads go on several occasions and particularly in the final frame before the interval, making some unusually sloppy potting and safety decisions.

He waxed lyrical on Higgins’ ability, with the Scot having now beaten him in 10 of their 18 quarter-final contests, and hopes he goes on to win the Home Nations title.

“The only good thing about tonight was I had the best seat in the house to watch John play,” he said.

“I’d recommend any snooker fan to come and watch John play before he gives it up because it doesn’t get any better than the way he plays it.

“Hopefully he wins the trophy because he’s such a good player. From a selfish point of view, I’d like to see him put a display on this weekend. It would be great for snooker.”

After crashing out of the Masters, O’Sullivan casted doubt over his participation in May’s showpiece World Championships at the Crucible.

It’s an event the 42 year-old has won five times, reaching the semi-final or better on 11 of 25 appearances.

And now being a published author, O’Sullivan is clear he is far from reliant on snooker and wouldn’t want to compete at the Crucible on current form.

“I don’t just play snooker any more, I do lots of other things,” he said.

“I’ve had a lot of snooker this season and I’ve really done better than I expected to do.

“After tonight, would I want to do 17 days like that? Absolutely not.

“But you never know, my game might pick up. Who knows, we’ll make a decision when it’s time to make a decision.”

*Watch the Welsh Open LIVE on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with Andy Goldstein and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.

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