Phil Haigh ✍️
Ronnie O’Sullivan believes Zhao Xintong can comfortably win ‘five or six’ World Championship titles, even if he only fulfils 80 per cent of his potential.
The Rocket has been working with the 25-year-old, trying to help him with break-building and thinking through a frame, in an attempt to bring out the best from the super-talented Chinese star.
Zhao has already won the UK Championship and German Masters this season and he has now made the perfect start to his World Championship challenge, beating Jamie Clarke 10-2 in a first round battering at the Crucible.
O’Sullivan is enjoying working with the Cyclone and loved his round one performance, predicting greatness and multiple world titles for the rising star.
‘I’m enjoying spending time with him and helping him as a player,’ Ronnie told Betfred. ‘I loved watching his first round match and he’s come on a lot. It’s exciting and I love showing him stuff.
‘I’ve said, If you like it great, if you don’t…but he’s living it!.
‘Basically, once I’ve gone I’ve got to leave someone to do some damage and he’s the guy. ‘He’s the guy who plays snooker, who plays sport how I would like to see it played.
‘He’s the only player I could probably help because he plays the game similar to me, sees the game similar. He’s a quick learner.
‘If some other player asked me to help them, I probably wouldn’t be able to. But he’s got the ability and the class and intelligence to take it on board.
‘I think if he fulfils 80 per cent of his potential he’ll win five or six world titles. Easy.
‘That’s not putting no pressure on him, because he might not. But I’ve got big hopes for that boy.’
Xintong has another big test ahead of him in the second round where Stephen Maguire waits for him after a hard-fought 10-8 win over Shaun Murphy on Sunday night.
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