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O’Sullivan Through Despite Broken Ankle

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Ronnie O’Sullivan insisted he may pull out of the Coral UK Championship if the pain caused by a broken left ankle doesn’t decrease before his second round match on Sunday night.

PICTURES by Tai Chengzhe

By Mark Rawlinson

The four-time UK Champion played through the pain barrier this afternoon to beat Daniel Wells 6-2, making top breaks of 60, 63, 88 and 65 in York.

The injury occurred earlier this week while O’Sullivan was out running in Essex, and left him hobbling around the table despite wearing a protective brace.

“To be honest I didn’t enjoy any of that, it was painful for me to play out there,” said a dejected O’Sullivan.

“I practised but I’m hobbling about during the match. I’m all over the gaff to be honest with you. I just thought I’d give it a go but if it doesn’t improve then I’m not sure I’m going to play my next match because I can’t get on the shot properly.

“It’s swelling up and it’s painful. I’ve taken all the pain killers and done all that I can do but to be honest if it’s not better by Sunday then I probably won’t play.

“I’m absolutely gutted because I’m enjoying my snooker more than ever so to do that through running, I’m really angry with myself.

“I was running with my mate in the forest, he asked me what time I was doing, I looked down at my watch and I just lost my footing and slipped. Partly his fault, partly my fault but I’m just frustrated with myself because I’m a snooker player, I’m not a runner.

“I think I’ll probably stop running now until the end of my snooker career because you can’t do this. It’s the third time I’ve broken my foot now.”

Mark Allen secured his spot in the next round thanks to a 6-2 victory over talented amateur player Eden Sharav.

The world number six looked in fine form, hitting breaks of 103, 80 and 125 to defeat the 22-year-old Scot who has recorded wins over experienced pros such as Gerard Greene and Andrew Norman over the past few months.

It has been a successful season so far for Ulsterman Allen, reaching four finals. He only managed to win one of them and he believes that an improvement in fitness may be required to help him to more silverware.

“I feel like I’ve come up a little bit short at tournaments,” said Allen. “The only thing I can put my finger on is that my fitness has let me down when I get to the later stages of events, I feel like I’m running out of steam.

“In the longer tournaments when you’re playing five or six best on nines over the space of a week, I just feel like I’m coming up a little bit short. If that’s me not at my best and I have made four finals in a row, then I’m looking forward to when I’m playing well.

“I’m very happy to be in the second round here because that was a potential banana skin. Even though Eden is an amateur, he’s probably better than some of the professionals that are on the tour.

“Eden played pretty solid although I didn’t settle down very well today, but I knew deep down that if I got in front I could put him under a lot of pressure. I knew that once I started scoring, I’d have too much for him and that’s exactly what happened.”

Ali Carter suffered disappointment in his first ranking event after beating lung cancer, as Zhang Anda beat him 6-5. Everything looked to be going to plan when the Captain led 5-3 but Zhang hit breaks of 50 and 100 to force the decider, which he eventually won on the colours.

Jack Lisowski made light work of his first round match, hitting breaks of 75, 91 and 70 to defeat Keighley’s Chris Melling. He will play Liang Wenbo on Sunday evening after the world number 25 beat David Grace 6-3.

Hot prospect Lyu Haotian came through an all-Chinese battle against Cao Yupeng, beating his more experienced counterpart 6-4 whilst Rory McLeod defeated Preston’s Ian Burns 6-2.