Ronnie O’Sullivan resumes his quest for a second English Open title when he plays Jackson Page in round two on Wednesday.
It is now six years since the Rocket lifted this trophy in Barnsley, thumping Kyren Wilson 9-2 during a dominant display in the final.
Although that remains his only Home Nations title to this day, O’Sullivan has never lost at this stage of the tournament – and only twice during the series.
The seven-time World champion maintained his dominance in Shanghai in his only other WST event of this season, overcoming the likes of John Higgins and Mark Selby before beating Luca Brecel 11-9 in the final.
And despite having only returned to the UK earlier in the day from a lucrative exhibition with Jimmy White in Macau, he comfortably saw off Andrew Pagett in the opening round of this event with runs of 69 and 62 along the way.
Next up is a clash with rising star Page, who he beat 6-3 in their only previous encounter at the 2017 UK Championship – a tournament he went on to win.
The Welshman endured a slow start to the season, winning just one of his opening five matches, but arrives in this contest on a three-game winning streak.
That includes his first ever victory at the English Open, having suffered four straight first-round defeats, as he whitewashed former World champion Ken Doherty in qualifying last month.
Page, who has also qualified for Wuhan Open and International Championship, is hoping to improve on his 2022-23 campaign, in which a run to the WST Classic last 16 represented his best performance.
A victory over O’Sullivan here would provide a huge confidence booster in his quest to do that, while it would also secure on his fifth appearance in the last 32 of a Home Nations event.
The winner of this match will play either Si Jiahui or Fergal O’Brien in the last 32 of the English Open.
Play gets under way at 1pm BST on Wednesday and will be contested over the best of seven frames at the Brentwood Centre.
How to watch O’Sullivan v Page live stream
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