'The Rocket' Ronnie O'Sullivan returns to singles action at the British Open this week, hoping to notch up his first silverware of the 2022/23 campaign.
The British Open gets underway on Monday and reigning world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan will be keen to signal his intentions for the season ahead and further cement his position at the summit of the order of merit.
The Rocket begins his quest for his first silverware of the new campaign against Alexander Ursenbacher tonight (20:00), and is priced as the 5/1 favourite to go all the way in Milton Keynes.
The Londoner equalled Stephen Hendry’s modern-era record of seven world titles at the Crucible in April, and has been well-backed to add to his 39 ranking crowns with success at the Marshall Arena.
O’Sullivan is one of several big names amongst the British Open field, along with the likes of Judd Trump (7/1), Mark Selby (14/1) and last year’s winner Mark Williams (12/1).
Welsh wizard Williams overcame Gary Wilson in a tense and dramatic final 12 months ago to claim his one and only title of the 2021/22 campaign, and is fifth-favourite to successfully defend his crown.
The Welshman, unlikely O’Sullivan’ Trump and Selby, heads into the competition relatively cold however, having not been amongst the participants in the World Mixed Doubles at the weekend.
In the first mixed doubles snooker event to be televised in over 30 years, it was Neil Robertson who, together with Thai star Mink Nutcharut, reigned supreme over Selby and Rebecca McKenna 4-2 in Sunday’s final.
However, despite that success, the Australian will be absent from the baize this week, having opted to make his return to singles action at the Hong Kong Masters next month.
A remarkable 12 different players claimed ranking event titles last term, and there is every reason to believe that the 2022/23 campaign will be equally as open too.
Belgian bullet Luca Brecel tasted Championship League glory a couple of months ago, and certainly appeals at 40/1, whilst Kyren Wilson (20/1) ended his two-year long wait for a fifth ranking title with a comprehensive 9-3 victory over Barry Hawkins in the European Masters.
There is a plethora of young Chinese talent coming through the ranks too, with the likes of Yan Bingtao, priced at 12/1, and Zhou Xintong already proving they can cut the mustard within the professional ranks.
Both players are in action in Milton Keynes, along with the likes of Jack Lisowski (25/1) and Mark Allen (22/1) and will be hoping to take advantage of a wide open bottom half of the draw, and seriously compete for the title.
All odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.