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Ronnie O’Sullivan v Stuart Bingham: Champion of Champions 2018 preview - Ball Run eyeing Rocket revenge

Ronnie O'Sullivan shakes hands with Stuart Bingham (credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan kicks off his quest for a third Champion of Champions title with a clash against an in-form Stuart Bingham in Group Four on Tuesday.

O'Sullivan boasts a superb record in this competition, having reached the final in all four of his previous appearances, going on to lift the trophy in 2013 and 2014 before finishing runner-up in 2016 and 2017.

The five-time World Champion claimed the Shanghai Masters title in his first competitive appearance of the season before losing out to Mark Davis in the Semi-Finals of the English Open last month.

It was Bingham who went on to win the English Open and subsequently book his place in the Champion of Champions, securing his fifth ranking title in the first Home Nation Series event of the season.

After a spell on the sidelines at the back end of last year, Bingham is seemingly heading back in the right direction, having climbed to 12th in the world rankings, though he will keen to prove his 6-3 defeat to Eden Sharav in the Last 64 of last week's International Championship was little more than a blip.

Bingham is bidding to make it third time lucky against 'The Rocket' in Coventry, having lost the 2013 final 10-8 before suffering a 4-2 defeat in the Group Semi-Finals a year later.

O'Sullivan has reached at least the Semi-Final stage in seven of his last 13 tournament appearances over a 12-month period and boasts a strong record in best-of-seven matches despite the potential to be caught cold over the short format.

The Rocket holds a dominant head-to-head record over 'Ball Run', having won 13 of their 16 previous meetings over the past 15 years - the most recent of which a 6-2 victory in the Quarter-Finals of September's Shanghai Masters.

Their latest encounter gets underway from 1pm GMT and will be contested over the best of seven frames.

Either Welsh Open champion John Higgins or Gibraltar Open champion Ryan Day will await the winner in the group final from 7pm over the best of 11 frames.


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Ronnie O’Sullivan v Stuart Bingham: Champion of Champions 2018 preview - Ball Run eyeing Rocket revenge

Ronnie O’Sullivan kicks off his quest for a third Champion of Champions title with a clash against an in-form Stuart Bingham in Group Four on Tuesday.

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