Recent news that Ronnie O’Sullivan was forced to withdraw from the World Snooker Tour (WST) Classic due to injury has sent shock waves through the world of snooker.
The elite World Snooker Tour Championship event is about to heat up, but unfortunately for fans, Ronnie O’Sullivan won’t be in the mix due to an agonizing elbow injury that scuttled his hopes of progressing to the next round. But he’s not the only top player to be left out of the final stages, with Neil Robertson and Mark Williams suffering surprise defeats at the last-64 stage.
Ronnie O’Sullivan conveyed his frustration to his fans over Twitter, saying ‘Really disappointed but have had to pull out because of an elbow injury and hope to be back asap.’ As casual as O’Sullivan is sounding about a potentially career-ending injury, his fans are hoping that he’ll manage to pull through in time to defend his world title later this season at the Crucible.
But the excitement in the WST Classic isn’t over by a long shot, as Jimmy ‘Whirlwind’ White showed off some superb skills to beat Joe Perry 4-3 and keep his campaign going strong into the next round. Meanwhile, Oliver Lines shocked Robertson with a 4-3 victory, denying him the chance to defend his infamous Tour title. Finally, Williams was knocked out by his friend and fellow compatriot Jackson Page in another nail-biting 4-3 finish that went right to the wire.
As for O’Sullivan, he was due to face off against David Grace in the last 64 but had to withdraw due to his injury. It’s a huge blow for the world champion, who had already hit two centuries in his opening win over Mohamed Ibrahim. Furthermore, the withdrawal means that there is no way he can qualify for the Tour Championship in Hull.
Ronnie O’Sullivan has had a difficult and often frustrating season to date after crashing out of the Six Red World Championship in Thailand, a tournament which many of the pundits had slated him to win with ease. But don’t count Ronnie ‘The Rocket’ O’Sullivan out just yet. He’s already looking over the horizon of this setback to his world title defense at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, where he’ll be playing for a record 8th victory at snooker’s biggest event.
Therefore, from a tactical point of view, it makes perfect sense for O’Sullivan to avoid taking risks and step back from the WST Classic tournament so that he can be in peak physical condition for the massive challenge that awaits him at the Crucible. The World Championship Snooker tournament at the Crucible is set to open on 15th April, with the final being played out on 1st May in Sheffield, England.
It’s guaranteed to be an exciting few weeks of snooker ahead, so stay tuned for more!