Snooker world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has been forced to pull out of the 2022 European Masters due to ‘medical reasons’ and has been replaced in the tournament.
In a novel match-up, the Rocket was due to take on his namesake – Sean O’Sullivan – in the first round at the Stadhalle in Furth next week.
The world number one actually lost to Fan Zhengyi 10-9 in the previous European Masters final in February and would have been looking to avenge that defeat.
However, he is now unable to take part and has been replaced in the draw by Luke Simmonds, with the 42-year-old taking on the remaining O’Sullivan, Sean, in Germany on Tuesday 16 August.
Ronnie is not the only big name who will be missing, with Neil Robertson and John Higgins also absent – the latter failed to qualify after losing to Scott Donaldson.
Robertson has also chosen to skip the Championship League and British Open, saying: ‘I’ve got a young family now so I don’t need to play in every tournament these days.’
Three other qualifiers have also been held over to Germany, with Judd Trump taking on Noppon Saengkham, Mark Selby facing Yuan Sijun and defending champion Zhengyi playing against Michael Judge.
European Masters schedule
Tuesday 16 August – Three sessions: four held-over Round 1 matches and 14 Last 64 matches
Wednesday 17 August – Three sessions: 18 Last 64 matches
Thursday 18 August – Three sessions: 16 Last 32 matches
Friday 19 August – Three sessions: eight Last 16 matches in opening two sessions; four quarter-finals in evening session
Saturday 20 August – Two sessions, semi-final 1 in afternoon session, semi-final 2 in evening session
Sunday 21 August – Final held across two sessions in afternoon and evening
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