Rocket touches down in China
Frank Monkhouse | 26 January 2017
O’Sullivan looks to add China Open win to Masters success
Rocket Ronnie O’Sullivan showed his fighting qualities to battle past Joe Perry and win a record seventh Masters title at the Alexandra Palace last week, proving beyond doubt that he is still a major force at the top end of the game.
The 41-year-old Englishman now turns his sight on the China Open, which gets started this week in Beijing. Ronnie doesn’t boast the kind of sparkling CV in this competition that you might expect, and he hasn’t banked the winner’s cheque since beating Mark Williams back in 2000.
Odds support another O’Sullivan win
Despite that drought, Coral sports traders have him priced as the most likely winner, with 7/2 on The Essex Exocet reliving those glory days. The suggestion that he isn’t particularly fond of travelling to China for this tournament was shot down by the man himself in a recent press interview in which he told reporters, and fans, that it’s his desire to win another Welsh Open and China Open before he retires. If holding his form, there’s certainly no reason he can’t achieve that in 2017.
The favourite gets his challenge underway on Thursday evening against young-gun James Cahill. Experts have that one marked down as a straight-forward Ronnie win, and the perfect match to settle him into the format.
Selby the dangerman
It’s little surprise to see bang in-form Mark Selby shape as the main danger in the betting, and those who fancy a punt on the 2015 champion can fill their boots on our 9/2. That looks to be a fantastic offer about a man who narrowly missed out on nailing a Triple Crown on Friday.
The 33-year-old Jester from Leicester lost 6-3 to Barry Hawkins in the Masters semi-final but the world number one has already claimed the World Championship and UK Championship and will take heart from the 10-2 hammering he dished out to Gary Wilson in the China final a couple of years ago. Selby is out on Friday afternoon vs Adam Stefanow, and that looks pretty run-of-the-mill.
Judd a top price to Trump the field
Judd Trump travels to Beijing as defending champion, having defeated Ricky Walden 10-4 12-months ago in this part of the world. The Bristol favourite also finished as top dog in 2011 and that will hold plenty of weight with backers, who can have him at a teasing 8/1.
Coral offer each-way players ½ the odds a place 1-2, and that provides a bit of a safety net for any supporters who feel that they need it.