Fans favourite O’Sullivan starts his Coral English Open bid on Tuesday evening in Manchester
Snooker ace Ronnie O’Sullivan is urging fans to come to next week’s new Coral English Open in Manchester for the chance to see the biggest names in the sport.
The world ranking tournament, the first of the new Home Nations series, runs from October 10 to 16 at Event City and will feature 128 players including O’Sullivan himself as well as Mark Selby, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Jimmy White and many more.
And with eight tables in the arena for the first four days, fans can see several matches in each session, with tickets starting at just £10.
“It’s a hot ticket and I’d recommend anyone to go and watch it,” said five-time World Champion O’Sullivan in an interview arranged by Home Nations broadcaster Eurosport. “I remember the first time I went to see snooker live – it was James Wattana against Steve Davis. It was so different to watching it on TV. It was unbelievable to watch and it made me want to become part of it.
“There’s nothing like live sport and you won’t get any better than this event in Manchester because all of the top players will be there from round one.”
The Home Nations series will also comprise tournaments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and any player who wins all four will bank a massive £1 million bonus.
“It’s a fantastic carrot to be dangled in front of us,” said O’Sullivan. “If anyone can win 28 consecutive matches in this format they deserve more than £1 million, that’s how hard it would be. But it’s great for snooker that there’s talk of that kind of money.”
Essex cueman O’Sullivan skipped the first four tournaments this season but is now building form having played in the Shanghai Masters and this week’s European Masters in Romania. The 40-year-old is currently ranked tenth in the world and does not believe he can get back to the top of the sport.
“I’m probably never going to be world number one again or be a major contender for the big tournaments, but I’ll just play snooker for the fun I get out of it,” he added. “My game is nowhere near where I’d like to be, but I’ll probably be playing in 12 or 13 events this season, there’s no need to panic.
“I’m happy with my career now. I’ve achieved more than I ever dreamt I would. I just want to have a nice life now. Working with Eurosport and other people has allowed me to branch out into different areas. If you’re young and snooker is all you have got, then you need to embrace it. I’ve been quite fortunate to come to the end of my career and people want to do stuff with me, I’ve tested the waters and quite enjoyed it.”
Judd Trump and Neil Robertson will be among the other top stars competing at Event City
O’Sullivan will play his first round match against Jimmy Robertson on Tuesday October 11 and seats are still available for that day. There are 32 matches in all on Tuesday including Judd Trump v Ken Doherty and Mark Selby v Gary Wilson.
There are also 32 matches on Monday including Jimmy White v Zhou Yuelong and Stuart Bingham v Robert Milkins.
For the full draw and format CLICK HERE and for ticket details CLICK HERE
Home Nations events
Coral English Open – Event City, Manchester, October 10-16
Northern Ireland Open – Titanic Exhibition Centre Belfast, November 14-20
Scottish Open – Emirates Arena, December 12-18
Welsh Open – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, February 13-19