Ronnie O’Sullivan admitted he was ‘outplayed’ and gave enormous praise for teenager Yan Bingtao following his brilliant victory over him on Monday.
The Rocket crashed out of the International Championship losing to the talented 17-year-old 6-1 in what was an action packed day in Daqing.
Having won the English Open in fine form less than a fortnight ago, O’Sullivan’s drubbing has come as a big shock in the snooker world.
But O’Sullivan was full of praise for Bingtao and said only the likes of snooker legends Stephen Hendry and John Higgins have played to that high level against him before.
“Yan played fantastically well,” O’Sullivan told World Snooker.
“Maybe only Stephen Hendry and John Higgins have played that well against me before. I played well in Barnsley and I feel comfortable with my game, I just got outplayed today.
“I didn’t do that much wrong apart from missing a couple of balls. The run of the ball didn’t go in my favour but Yan deserved the bit of fortune he got and he scored heavily. It was a tough draw for me, especially as he’d already played a match yesterday.
“If Yan plays like that he’ll be very difficult to beat in this tournament. If he can play like that consistently he’ll win a lot of tournaments. He has a an all round game, a good temperament and he carries himself well.
“He has presence around the table – to be a champion you need to portray that image. All the great players won tournaments when they were 17 or 18 so if he’s going to be a great player then he’ll win one soon.”
Bingtao plays Ricky Walden on Tuesday looking to secure a place in the third round.