Phil Haigh ✍️
Ronnie O’Sullivan has been knocked out of Championship League Snooker at the second group stage after surprise defeats to young Chinese talents Yuan Sijun and Pang Junxu.
The world champion went into the group alongside Yuan, Pang and his old rival Ali Carter, with the Rocket’s chances of progressing over before he could even take on the Captain in the final match of the group.
O’Sullivan only managed one frame in his two matches against the Chinese stars, losing 3-0 to Yuan before a 3-1 defeat to Pang, with the youngsters now fighting it out to progress to Friday’s final stages.
In the other group on Wednesday, Zhao Xintong guaranteed progression with a game to spare thanks to 3-0 wins over Chang Bingyu and Gary Wilson.
The UK champion knocked in the tournament high break of 145 in his win over Chang, followed by a 123 and 101 in his victory over Wilson.
The dominant wins, and the fact that Mark Allen was beaten earlier by Wilson, means that the last match of the group between Zhao and Allen could not knock the Cyclone off top spot.
The short-format, early season event is proving a minefield for top players, with O’Sullivan and Allen following the likes of Mark Williams, Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Kyren Wilson out of the tournament early.
Chinese players are dominating the Championship League this summer, with Lu Ning, Lyu Haotian and Xiao Guodong three of the other four players to already book their spot in Friday’s final stages.
The only player not from China to do so thus far is Stuart Bingham, who came through Group C on Tuesday.
The final two groups in Stage Two, on Thursday, will not see any more Chinese players progress as there are none involved.
Shaun Murphy, Ricky Walden, Anthony Hamilton and Elliot Slessor are in Group G, while Luca Brecel, Chris Wakelin, Jamie Clarke and Daniel Wells contest Group B.
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This post appeared first on Snooker – Metro.