Ronnie O'Sullivan pulls out of Welsh Open due to 'anxiety'

1 week ago 22

Ronnie O'SullivanImage source, Getty Images

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Ronnie O'Sullivan has won the Welsh Open four times

Ronnie O'Sullivan has withdrawn from next week's Welsh Open to protect his mental health.

The world number one was due to compete at Llandudno but says he will be unable to do so because of "stage fright".

O'Sullivan, 48, withdrew from the German Masters in Berlin last week to prioritise his "health and wellbeing".

In a social media post he said: "It's hard to explain but for years I've suffered from stage fright brought on by anxiety."

The seven-time world champion added: "It's not something I can predict or control but I try to manage it as best as I can.

"I'm sorry to everyone who's bought tickets but I just can't get my cue out when I feel like this and I think this is what's best for me right now."

O'Sullivan, who has already won the Masters and UK Championship this season, has been an outspoken critic of the snooker schedule.

The four-time Welsh Open winner said he still wants to be involved in the tournament and will work as a TV pundit at Venue Cymru.

Scotland's Liam Graham will instead face Welshman Dominic Dale in the first round when the tournament begins on Monday, 12 February.

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