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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 March, 2005, 13:59 GMT
O'Sullivan to miss Chinese event
World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan
World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has pulled out of the China Open, which starts on Sunday, on medical grounds.

O'Sullivan, who overcame flu-like symptoms and a heavy cold to win the Irish Masters two weeks ago, phoned tournament officials on Friday night.

His absence is a big let-down for organisers of the first major tournament in China in three years.

Opening day matches include 1995 world finalist Nigel Bond against Liang Wen Bo and Quinten Hann versus Guo Hua.

With UK champion Stephen Maguire having failed to qualify and Paul Hunter recovering from surgery, seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry starts as favourite.

Hendry will be looking for his second overseas win of the season, having won the Malta Cup in February.

The 16 qualifiers take on 16 Asian wildcards with the winners progressing to meet the seeded top-16 players in the last 32.




SEE ALSO
China Open - results/match order
26 Mar 05 |  Snooker


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