Ronnie O’Sullivan Withdraws from German Masters

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Ronnie O’Sullivan has opted to withdraw from yet another snooker tournament, citing concerns for his “health and well-being.” Despite clinching victories at the Masters, UK Championship, and World Grand Prix earlier in the season, the Rocket has decided to forgo participation in the upcoming German Masters in Berlin, scheduled to commence on Monday, January 29.

In a recent World Open qualifier against Alfie Burden in Barnsley, O’Sullivan, a seven-time world champion, struggled through the match with a foot injury, even obtaining special permission from World Snooker to wear trainers. During the qualifier, he visibly endured discomfort, kicking off his shoes mid-match. Despite securing his spot in the final stages of the World Open, O’Sullivan has now chosen to take a brief hiatus from the game. His potential return is targeted for the Welsh Open, set to begin on February 12.

Issuing a statement on both X and his Instagram, the 48-year-old expressed regret at having to withdraw from the German Masters, emphasizing the need to prioritize his health and well-being. Acknowledging the love he holds for the event and his fans in Germany, O’Sullivan explained that the season has been demanding and challenging for him, contrary to the perception created by his tournament victories. He apologized to his German fans and expressed the hope of seeing them soon.

Barry Pinches will replace O’Sullivan in the tournament draw, facing Julien Leclercq in a first-round match on Monday afternoon. This season has witnessed O’Sullivan withdrawing from other events as well, notably missing the Scottish Open in December, similarly citing medical reasons.

The absence of O’Sullivan isn’t the only notable one at the German Masters, as Hossein Vafaei has also pulled out due to visa issues. Originally slated to face Elliot Slessor in the second round on Monday, Vafaei’s withdrawal grants Slessor a bye to the last 32.

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