Ronnie O’Sullivan claimed his first victory at the English Open after beating French youngster Brian Ochoiski 4-2 to win his sixth world title.
Following his latest crucible victory in August, O’Sullivan suffered a heart attack against Irish teenager Aaron Hill at the European Masters and subsequently withdrew from the Champions League due to the Covid-19 isolation rules.
In the first round at Milton Keynes on Monday, the 21-year-old Ochoiski took a 2-0 lead at the intersection of world number 127 105.
To raise awareness about breast cancer, O’Sullivan – playing Pink Nail Varnish – reacted strongly to take the next four in a row, scoring his own century (113) in frame two.
“It was a tough match,” O’Sullivan said. “I expected him to play a certain shot every time I played a certain shot, but he didn’t, so I thought I could go for everything and push the boat out and play carelessly like him. That’s right. ”
O’Sullivan said he was happy to be competing this week as he was allowed more time out of the bubble environment between matches.
“You can come for your test,” said the 44-year-old. “I have a stomach ache, so I have to be careful what I eat. I could not get food on my own (in the Championship League). It’s very easy.
“I’m going to take the train and spend the day at home and come back.
“They do tests but I am extremely careful when I come on stage. If you get caught you don’t want to interact with anyone and then you have to be isolated for two weeks. ”
O’Sullivan’s comments came after world number 48 Stuart Carrington and referee Andrew Barklam were forced to withdraw from the tournament after being tested positive for the corona virus. Sam Craig, who had been in contact with Carrington on Sunday, also withdrew.
O’Sullivan said the corona virus forced him to change his schedule this year.
He said: “Before Kovid hit, I was going to focus on China for the rest of my career. All the big tournaments are there but now no one knows what is happening in China, so we are forced to play these events here. ”
O’Sullivan admits he will miss the Masters again this season after withdrawing from the event at Alexandra Palace in January.
“I didn’t miss playing in the Masters last year,” he said. “To be honest, I don’t enjoy that tournament much.”
Defending champion Mark Selby continued his new resurgence, beating Fan Shengi 4-0. Neil Robertson saw Liu Hotian for the same score but Stephen Maguire lost 4-1 to Sunny Akani.
De Junhui defeated C Jiao 4-3, while Mark Allen defeated Mark King 4-2.
Michael Holt defeated veteran Jimmy White 4-1, allowing him to show his frustration at one point by throwing the rest of the floor after a pot went missing.