• Welsh Open

'Rusty' O'Sullivan admits he needs sharpening up

ESPN staff
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Ronnie O'Sullivan stated he only had "three or four" hours practice since winning the Masters in January © Getty Images
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Ronnie O'Sullivan admitted he was "rusty" during his routine 4-1 Welsh Open first round win over Mitchell Travis because he had undergone little practice since winning the Masters in January.

O'Sullivan narrowly took the opening frame after Travis had hit back to lead from 53 behind, before moving into a 3-0 lead with an impressive 81 break. Travis prevented a whitewash in the fourth, but world champion O'Sullivan soon finished the job. He will now play Barry Pinches in the second round.

"I was a bit rusty there, although I played ok, I wasn't sharp because I haven't really picked my cue up since the Masters," O'Sullivan told worldsnooker.com. "I have only really played about 3 or 4 hours in a month.

"Mitchell beat Marco Fu at the UK Championship so I'm just pleased to get through. I like to win every tournament that I play in so will be trying my hardest. Now I have a few days to get some practice to sharpen my game up.

"I need to have a good run in this because I have not entered the China Open or the Haikou World Open and I wasn't in the German Masters, although I am going to play in the Players Championship."

Elsewhere, defending champion Stephen Maguire made breaks of 79 and 98 in his 4-1 victory over Elliot Slessler, while Ding Junhui beat Gary Wilson 4-2. Ali Carter made visits of 115 and 81 to see off Andrew Norman with a 4-1 win.

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