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Ronnie O’Sullivan holds on to No1 snooker ranking despite pulling out over ‘medical reasons’ after champ’s shock loss

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LUCA BRECEL has missed out on changing Ronnie O’Sullivan as world No.1 – by an in depth shave.

The Belgian bullet, 28, is barely £5,000 behind the Rocket on the World Snooker Tour money standings and wanted to win two matches on the British Open to leapfrog his rival.

Ronnie O'Sullivan was in danger of losing his No1 ranking
Ronnie O’Sullivan was in peril of shedding his No1 ratingCredit score: Reuters

Luca Brecel had to win two matches at the British Open but lost to Ding Junhui
Luca Brecel needed to win two matches on the British Open however misplaced to Ding JunhuiCredit score: Getty

But he ended up shedding 4-3 to Chinese language cueist Ding Junhui at Cheltenham Racecourse in a held-over qualifier, though he had battled again from 3-0 down.

O’Sullivan, 47, is lacking this rating occasion as a consequence of “medical causes” and this had opened the door for him to lose the coveted spot for the primary time in 17 months.

Brecel, the reigning world champion, shaved off his signature beard earlier than arriving in Gloucestershire however he was not a minimize above his opponent.

He stated: “This was a foul day on the workplace.

“It was a wierd recreation. I wasn’t targeted in any respect within the first couple of frames. I had an opportunity to win. I ought to have gained. I didn’t play in addition to I can.

“Ronnie is so good, even when he’s not enjoying he’s nonetheless No.1. Credit score to him.

“It will be good to get there. It isn’t one thing I’ve been seeking to do in my profession however now I’m shut, I wish to do it.

“It will be good to get. Not only for myself but in addition for snooker in Belgium. It will be within the headlines. It’s one thing I wish to do.

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“I’ve shaved my beard off. I’ve solely completed it twice since I began rising one. Generally I get aggravated with it protruding and that’s why it got here off.”

World No.3 Mark Allen has an opportunity of toppling O’Sullivan however he must carry the Clive Everton Trophy on Sunday night time for that to occur.

The Northern Eire potter began his marketing campaign with a 4-1 win over Anthony McGill in a held-over qualifier.

O’Sullivan was named world No.1 for the fifth spell of his profession in April 2022 and has dominated the standings since then.

The Essex star – who not too long ago beat Brecel to win the Shanghai Masters – has not performed a event within the UK since shedding on the World Championships on the Crucible in April.

His subsequent look on house soil will probably be on the English Open in Essex on Monday October 2 however that would be the similar day he flies again house from a visit to Hong Kong.

In the meantime, O’Sullivan has been left “devastated” after his Indian pal Elias Kazmi was concerned in a highway rage incident in Kashmir, which has left him in Intensive Care Unit with mind clots and damaged bones.

The 47-year-old issued a social media plea to his “massive fan base in India” to create extra consciousness of this case.

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