‘Wenbo deserved victory’ – O’Sullivan

WORLD champion Ronnie O’Sullivan hopes to come back stronger after suffering a surprise early exit in the International Championship.

Five-times world champion O’Sullivan looked to be cruising to the last 16 stage of the China event when leading 4-1 but Wenbo impressively fought back winning five frames on the bounce to claim the win.

Speaking to World Snooker after his 6-4 defeat, O’Sullivan hoped his performances would get better by playing in more tournaments in weeks to come.

“Wenbo played a really good match and deserved to win,” he said.

“I started off well and got ahead, but to lose five frames on the trot is not good, that’s a worrying sign.

“This is only my fifth tournament in 18 months so I am a bit rusty. Only playing in events will rectify that and I’ve got another four or five tournaments coming up.

“It has been a fantastic event in a great city and I’m sad that I’m not playing any more.

“Every time I come to China I have a lot of support and I love the fans here so I’m sorry I wasn’t able to play my best. Hopefully I’ll come back stronger.”

This was Wenbo’s first win against O’Sullivan after a couple of close encounters in the World Championship in 2008 and 2010.

And the world number 32, who on Wednesday faces Mark Davis for a place in the quarter-finals, said he felt he could turn the match around as soon as the scores levelled at 4-4.

“I was not worrying about the result and went for aggressive shots when I was 4-1 down,” he said.

“I was able to hold myself together after that. I treated every shot carefully, and at the same time Ronnie left me some chances, I took them and went on to win. I realised that I had a chance to win when it turned 4-4.

“Ronnie has many fans and he has a lot of strong points which I can learn from. I’ve still got matches to play so I will rest well and face the next one.”

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