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Ronnie O’Sullivan explains his decision to opt out of 2020 Masters

Jamie Shaw in The Masters

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O'Sullivan last missed The Masters in 2013 (credit:John Walton/PA Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan withdraws from 2020 Masters

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Judd Trump is the defending champion (credit:World Snooker)

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O'Sullivan sets the record straight (credit:PA Images)

O’Sullivan praises Higgins’ performance (credit:PA Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan has revealed the reasoning behind his decision not to enter the 2020 Masters, dismissing the official line of ‘personal reasons’.

The news broke on Saturday afternoon that the seven-time champion will not be competing in the sport’s elite invitational at London’s Alexandra Palace from January 12-19.

The official statement posted by World Snooker cited ‘personal reasons’ for O’Sullivan’s absence, but ‘The Rocket’ has since confirmed he simply chose not to enter as he did not want to play.

“I didn’t enter, so I hadn’t pulled out,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport.

“There certainly aren’t any personal reasons so it’s news to me about the personal reasons, I just chose not to enter.

“Everything’s fine, I think it was just a mistake on World Snooker’s part, maybe they needed to put something out and putting ‘personal reasons’ out I thought was a little bit strong.

“Hopefully they’re going to correct it and say it was a slight mistake.”

O’Sullivan has featured in all but one Masters tournament since 1994, winning the title on seven occasions and finishing runner-up a further six times, including this year’s defeat to Judd Trump.

He has featured in just three ranking tournaments this season, notably finishing runner-up at the Northern Ireland Open, while also picking up the Shanghai Masters invitational title at the beginning of the season.

O’Sullivan, who has been replaced in the elite 16-man field by world number 17 Ali Carter, added: “There’s no particular reason, it’s a fantastic tournament, I just didn’t really want to play in it this year.

“I’m just looking forward to doing some other stuff.

“The Masters is such a great tournament I just think that spot should go to somebody that’s really dedicated to the game, loves the game and is going to give one hundred and ten per cent.

“At the moment I’m just playing to enjoy it and the place is better off going to somebody else.”