Snooker: O'Sullivan out of English Open
PUBLISHED: 10:30 18 October 2019
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It's back to the studio for five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan after crashing out of the 19.com English Open.
The 'Rocket's' indifferent Crawley form came back to bite him with a shock 4-3 defeat at the hands of Mei Xiwen - missing out on a heavyweight quarter-final showdown with Mark Selby.
O'Sullivan had earlier overcome Iran's Hossein Vafaei to set up the evening tie but it proved a step too far having stuttered his way through the week to date.
An impressive 134 break highlighted his evening but he was far from at his best, allowing the world No.70 from China to provide one of the best results of his career.
Not that O'Sullivan was too perturbed by his loss, happy to get time on the table ahead of the World Open in China later this autumn.
"He's a hardened match player. He played well tonight and he deserves his victory," said O'Sullivan, who will join Eurosport's punditry team for the rest of the competition.
"I missed a few balls but I didn't do too much wrong. There are no excuses and the better man won.
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"I've had a good week. I've had four matches which is good practice for me and I just look forward to the next event.
"It's probably a good result for me because the practice tables will be really quiet now and I can concentrate on that combined with a bit of punditry, which is a good situation to be in.
"I think the China events are the biggest tournaments and if you can win one or two of them your season's sorted. I'm looking forward to going out there and giving it what I've got."
Meanwhile, Matt Selt's campaign is also over after he fell to a disappointing 4-2 reverse at the hands of three-time world champion Selby.
The 34-year had twice levelled the match before Selby closed the game out but Selt insisted he still feels capable of adding to his maiden ranking title this season, after he won the Indian Open in March.
He said: "I created enough chances and probably outplayed Mark, but I wasn't clinical enough and you can't afford to do that against someone of his calibre.
"But I keep putting myself in the positions to win and it's just a case of going back now and continuing to work hard. Hopefully I'll take some of those chances and then start to reel the wins off."
*Watch the English Open live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with studio analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan and Jimmy White.