Reigning World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has withdrawn from the 2023 WST Classic due to an elbow injury.
O’Sullivan was due to face David Grace in the Second Round in Leicester on Sunday evening, but announced his withdrawal earlier this afternoon.
The world number one had defeated Egypt’s Mohamed Ibrahim 4-2 in the opening round on Friday but was forced to play through the pain barrier amid an elbow problem.
He was also experiencing discomfort during last week’s Six Red Championship in Thailand – where he was beaten 6-2 by Ding Junhui in the Last 16.
The injury scare comes less than a month before O’Sullivan is due to commence his World Championship title defence at The Crucible – where he is targeting a record-breaking eighth crown.
As a result of his withdrawal, ‘The Rocket’ can no longer qualify for the Tour Championship – which features the top eight players on the one-year ranking list competing for a £150,000 top prize in Hull from March 27 to April 2.
World number 68 Grace will now receive a bye through to the Third Round of the WST Classic – where he will take on Jamie Jones.
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really disappointed but have had to pull out because of an elbow injury and hope to be back asap. Ro
— Ronnie O'Sullivan (@ronnieo147) March 19, 2023