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Ronnie O’Sullivan ’embarrassed’ by UK Championship defeat to Alexander Ursenbacher


Ronnie O’Sullivan crashed out of the UK Championship on Sunday (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan admits he was embarrassed by his performance in the UK Championship as he crashed out in the second round at the hands of Alexander Ursenbacher.

The Rocket was a long way from his brilliant best, struggling to find any fluency among the balls and making just two half-centuries.

The Swiss star capitalised, without really having to be at his best either, and won the match 6-5, moving into the last 32 of the UK Championship for the very first time.

The world champion was not making any excuses after the defeat, praising how the 24-year-old performed and saying he was embarrassed by how badly he played as runaway favourite to win the match.

‘Alex played well and deserved his victory,’ said the world number two. ‘I made so many mistakes and if I had won that match it would have been robbery.

‘Good luck to him, I hope he can win a few more matches. I just couldn’t pot any balls, I felt embarrassed.

‘Every time I came to the table I just felt like I wouldn’t pot more than two balls. At 5-4 [ahead] I thought I might steal it, but I didn’t deserve to win.

‘There are no excuses. I wasn’t that frustrated, I just could not pot any balls. I felt embarrassed and could not put anything together. To get it to 5-4, I was thinking: “If can get over the line I have stolen it.”

‘You only win matches if you deserve to. I deserved to lose.’

The result continues O’Sullivan’s slow start to the season, by his standards, with no silverware added to his trophy cabinet since winning the World Championship in August.

The Rocket enjoyed a run to the Northern Ireland Open final, where he was beaten by Judd Trump, but otherwise has not been past a quarter-final this campaign so far.

However, the relentless nature of the snooker calendar means he will be back on the table in no time and that keeps his mind focussed.

‘I haven’t got time to be disappointed because I’ll be back here for the Scottish Open next week,’ he said.

Ursenbacher’s ultra-aggressive style, which sees him take on almost any pot available to him, worked against the Rocket for a second time on Sunday.

The pair have played twice and the Swiss has won both matches, after downing O’Sullivan at the Welsh Open last year.

The 44-year-old world champ is impressed by the world number 66 and his swashbuckling ways.

‘I thought he was quite conservative today, normally he goes for even more!’ O’Sullivan said.

‘He swings, mate, if he was a boxer you’d have to be ducking all the time, they’re like bombs. He can play.’

Ursenbacher now takes on Jamie Jones for a place in the last 16 on Tuesday night.

Having made his World Championship debut this year and now securing another fine win over O’Sullivan, especially in the nerve-shredding environment of a deciding frame, he is full of confidence.

‘I know I am capable of beating him and he did not really turn up today, it made it a bit easier but I am still proud to win,’ said Ursenbacher.

‘I was fancying it at 5-5 all day long. I wanted to play Ronnie in a big event and that would be a big test for me. I was full of confidence.’


MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan hails Alexander Ursenbacher after shock UK Championship loss


MORE : Alexander Ursenbacher relishing chance to maintain winning Ronnie O’Sullivan record

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