European Masters: Why Ronnie O'Sullivan, Neil Robertson and John Higgins are not in Furth

August 15, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

Betfred World Snooker Championship 2022 - Day 14
Ronnie O’Sullivan could not compete in Germany this week (Picture: Getty Images)

The European Masters gets underway on Tuesday 16 August in Furth, Germany and there will be some big names notable by their absence, none more so than Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson and John Higgins.

The world champion will not be playing this week as he has chosen to take some time off to deal with tennis elbow.

The Rocket had entered the European Masters but withdrew, allowing Luke Simmonds to take his place in the draw.

Explaining his fitness issue to Eurosport, O’Sullivan said: ‘I’ve had an injury for my arm for about the last year. The last two months it’s just got really bad so I really need to rest it.

‘Hopefully it will get better and I think it’s a time-healing process. One of the big events that I want to play in is in Hong Kong which is in early October. I thought I better rest it and try and get it better for that.’

Robertson simply chose not to play in the event as he continues his lengthy summer break after the World Championship, not returning to the table until the World Mixed Doubles in September.

The Thunder from Down Under told the Sportsman: ‘I’ve got a young family now so I don’t need to play in every tournament these days. I used to play in most tournaments, but I’m playing for fun now. My family is really important to me, they’re my inspiration to win.

‘It gives you a really great buzz to have them there with me when I win tournaments, they’re the memories I love creating.’

Other absentees in Furth simply failed to come through the qualifying round held in Leicester in July, with all but four of the first round matches played there rather than Germany. Defending champion Fan Zhengyi, Judd Trump and Mark Selby have their first round matches held over to the main venue. As did the world champ’s, but now that game is Simmonds vs Sean O’Sullivan.

Out in the qualifying round in Leicester included the likes of John Higgins, Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire, Dave Gilbert, Matt Selt, Martin Gould and Tom Ford.

European Masters qualifying results

Daniel Wells 5-3 Peter Lines
Gary Wilson 5-1 Duane Jones
Lukas Kleckers 5-2 Ryan Thomerson
Anthony McGill 5-4 Alexander Ursenbacher
Tian Pengfei 3-5 Si Jiahui
Hossein Vafaei 5-1 Ng On Yee
Xiao Guodong 5-4 Xu Si
Chris Wakelin 5-4 Jamie Clarke
Stephen Maguire 4-5 Oliver Brown
Anton Kazakov 1-5 Zhang Anda
Shaun Murphy 5-3 Dean Young
Zak Surety 2-5 Andy Hicks
Jimmy Robertson 5-4 Zhao Jianbo
Ross Muir 1-5 Lyu Haotian
Kyren Wilson 5-2 Sam Craigie
John Higgins 3-5 Scott Donaldson
Ian Martin 1-5 Chang Bingyu
Ryan Day 5-3 Ken Doherty
Robbie Williams 3-5 Steven Hallworth
Luca Brecel 5-1 Andy Lee
Wu Yize 5-3 Jenson Kendrick
Matthew Selt 1-5 Haydon Pinhey
Rory McLeod 5-4 Elliot Slessor
Adam Duffy 1-5 James Cahill
Ali Carter 5-0 Reanne Evans
Andres Petrov 3-5 Ian Burns
Stuart Bingham 5-3 Michael Holt
David Grace 5-2 Ben Mertens
Martin Gould 0-5 Michael White
Hammad Miah 4-5 Jackson Page
Ashley Hugill 5-1 Julien Leclercq
Tom Ford 3-5 Oliver Lines
Andrew Higginson 5-2 Joe O’Connor
Mark Allen 3-5 Farakh Ajaib
Barry Pinches 5-1 Rebecca Kenna
David Gilbert 1-5 Marco Fu

Lei Peifan 5-0 Rod Lawler
David Lilley 2-5 Stuart Carrington
Jordan Brown 5-4 Cao Yupeng
Chen Zifan 1-5 Aaron Hill
Barry Hawkins 5-1 Gerard Greene
Ben Woollaston 3-5 Jak Jones
Robert Milkins 5-0 Lu Ning
Craig Steadman 3-5 Li Hang
Zhao Xintong 5-2 Fraser Patrick
Mark Williams 5-4 Liam Highfield
Louis Heathcote 4-5 Sanderson Lam
Joe Perry 3-5 Dominic Dale
Jimmy White 5-4 Andrew Pagett
Jack Lisowski 5-1 Zhang Jiankang
Florian Nuessle 4-5 Matthew Stevens
Zhou Yuelong 5-4 John J Astley
Graeme Dott 5-0 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Mitchell Mann 5-1 Mink Nutcharut
Ricky Walden 5-1 Alfie Burden
Peng Yisong 1-5 Dylan Emery
Yan Bingtao 5-2 Pang Junxu
Anthony Hamilton 5-2 Mark King
Jamie Jones 5-2 Mark Davis
Mark Joyce 5-0 Stephen Hendry

The main stages of the tournament run from 16-21 August at the Stadthalle in Furth.

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