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Snooker: Ronnie O’Sullivan confident he can play through the pain at English Open

PUBLISHED: 08:30 19 October 2017

Snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan (pic: Simon Cooper/PA)

Snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan (pic: Simon Cooper/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

‘The Rocket’ has been playing in trainers after spraining his ankle while out running

Ronnie O’Sullivan is still standing at the Dafabet English Open after putting the distractions of ‘shoe-gate’ behind him and is raring to go for Thursday’s potential double-header.

Having sprained his ankle while out running, O‘Sullivan played his first-round match in Barnsley on Tuesday in garish blue trainers rather than traditional dress shoes.

He was duly admonished by World Snooker, who ordered him to wear black trainers for his second-round clash with Mark Davis on Wednesday, at which point the Romford-based cueman threatened to pull out of the event on Twitter.

But the five-time world champion eventually relented and dispatched Davis 4-1 in the appropriate footwear, rounding the match off with breaks of 136 and 134.

And he is convinced his ankle can now withstand a last-32 clash against Zhang Yong and a potential last-16 contest on Thursday.

“I know I will have to play two matches tomorrow if I win the first one, and the foot should now be up to that,” said O’Sullivan. “I honestly didn’t think on Tuesday I was going to be able to play.

“It is better than the other day, and I am walking half-decent again. I like to walk at a decent pace out at the table, or I have no rhythm.

“And for me if I have no rhythm, then I am not the same snooker player. I don’t want to break Peter Ebdon’s records for slow frames!

“They weren’t going to let me play with the blue shoes again and they didn’t look great to be fair, so I just had to make sure I got a new pair.”

O’Sullivan wasn’t the only player based at Grove Snooker in Romford to find success in Barnsley on Wednesday as Liang Wenbo edged past Tom Ford 4-3 and made a maximum 147 break in the process to claim a £42,000 bonus.

Judd Trump also cruised past Mark Joyce 4-0 and the world No.4 insists it will take something special to beat him this week.

“The form is there and has been consistently for the past two seasons,” said Trump. “Every tournament I play well, even when I lose a few close games.

“I’m very happy with how I’m playing and I keep putting myself in finals. Eventually, you will win a few.

“It’s hard to beat me and it will take something special every time I do lose.”

• Watch the English Open LIVE on Eurosport 1 and Quest, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.

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