RONNIE O’Sullivan considered pulling out of the Cazoo Tour Championship because of a dodgy cue!
The Rocket last night booked his spot in the semi-finals of the penultimate ranking event of the season with a dogged 10-8 victory over Scottish nemesis John Higgins.
Yet the reigning world champion is in the midst of a cue crisis as he arrived at the Celtic Manor hotel resort in Newport with damaged equipment.
His cue is suffering from wear-and-tear and it has already been mended TWICE within the last few weeks.
It was so bad that he explored the possibility of giving up his spot in the draw – which is guaranteed a minimum of £20,000 – to Northern Irish reserve Jordan Brown.
Essex potter O’Sullivan revealed: “I have had a nightmare with my cue.
“I put it in to be mended a few days ago and got it back just before the best-of-three frame Pro Series we played.
“It was no good so I sent it back again, it sort of made it worse and is kind of irretrievable now. So I’ll have to sort out a new cue after this event.
“If I had been given the option to pull out, keep my prize money but give my spot to ninth-placed Jordan Brown then I would have done that. But that wasn’t allowed.
“I don’t expect too much from my game, but I have come here, will get my prize money and try to at least do something.”
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This was the 72nd match between these two titans – the last clash saw Higgins, 45, thrash his fellow Class of 92 rival 10-3 in the Players Championship final in Milton Keynes.
But the world No.2 shrugged aside his cue woes to knock in breaks of 93, 72, 69, 72 112 and 101 as he beat Higgins for the 38th time.
O’Sullivan added: “John had a bit of a stinker. I wasn’t much better but maybe more fluent. That’s the reason why I won.”
Higgins said: “I wasn’t cueing great all game. I was bashing the balls about. The conditions weren’t great, it was muggy in there. Me and Ronnie missed a few. I am disappointed. Ronnie struggled a bit as well.”
Interestingly it was the first time since the 2005 Masters final that O’Sullivan had been victorious against Higgins in a match involving two or more sessions.
O’Sullivan, 45, will play either Friday or Saturday against world No.1 Judd Trump or Barry Hawkins in the last four of the third staging of this event.
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