World number one Ronnie O’Sullivan has withdrawn from the 2024 German Masters for personal reasons.
O’Sullivan has enjoyed a prolific spell in recent weeks, securing the UK Championship, Masters and World Grand Prix titles to take his unbeaten run to 15 matches.
The 48-year-old is in contention for a first seasonal Triple Crown of his career as he prepares to head to The Crucible in April in search of a record-breaking eighth world title.
Following his Masters triumph over Ali Carter, O’Sullivan revealed he planned to take a break from competitive action in the build-up to the World Championship, and he has opted out of German Masters – which takes place in Berlin from January 29 to February 4.
O’Sullivan announced the news on social media, posting: ‘Hi guys, I just want to let my fans in Germany know that sadly I’ve decided to withdraw from the German Masters next week.
‘I love the event and fans in Germany but I have to make my health and wellbeing the priority. It’s been a tiring and challenging season for me so far, despite how it may seem with the tournament wins so hope you understand.
‘I’m sorry I won’t be there and I hope to see you all soon.’
It is the second successive year in which ‘The Rocket’ has pulled out of the German Masters – an event he has not featured in since 2017.
O’Sullivan has been replaced in the draw by Barry Pinches – who will face Julien Leclercq in the First Round at the Tempodrom on Monday afternoon.
O’Sullivan is next scheduled to play in the Welsh Open on February 12 against Liam Graham, but it remains unclear as to whether ‘The Rocket’ will appear in Llandudno.
Meanwhile, Hossein Vafaei has also withdrawn from the German Masters due to visa issues, meaning his scheduled opponent Elliot Slessor will receive a bye to the Last 32.
Martin Gould. the 2016 German Masters champion, has also withdrawn for medical reasons.
Gould was due to face John Higgins in the Second Round on Tuesday evening, but Higgins will now receive a bye to the Last 32.
Gould has also pulled out of the BetVictor Welsh Open qualifying round and been replaced by Sydney Wilson – who will face Wu Yize on Saturday.