Huge shock as Ronnie O’Sullivan crashes out to Ben Woollaston in first round of Gibraltar Open

Ronnie O’Sullivan was dumped out of the Gibraltar Open in the first round after a shock 4-3 defeat to Ben Woollaston.

O’Sullivan was ahead for most of the match but then let Woollaston recover to level at 3-3 and then eventually clinch a stunning victory in the deciding frame.

This was O’Sullivan’s first appearance in the event, but he will go no further in the competition on a forgettable day for the world No. 2.

The rocket cruised to a 71-9 win in the first frame, storming to a 70-0 lead which included a break of 26, and with Woollaston needing snookers, he conceded the frame.

But Woollaston bounced back in an impressive second frame, taking it 77-1 with a very impressive break of 65 to level the game up at 1-1 and made the Rocket sweat, briefly.

Ronnie stormed back to claim the third frame 110-19 with breaks of 51 and 49 to retake the lead in the match, before taking the fourth frame 91-42 with an even bigger break of 60.

But the match was taken to a sixth frame thanks to some impressive snooker from Woollaston, who romped home to an 88-0 victory to halve the deficit at 3-2.

‘That wasn’t the easiest of doubles!’ – O’Sullivan lands pressure pot

That came at the end of a long safety battle, with O’Sullivan clipping the pink on his way back to baulk. Woollaston then sealed the win in the frame by getting the last couple of reds to end with a break of 39.

This was not vintage Ronnie by any means, as he showed glimpses of brilliance without completing the job in the ruthless fashion which we have come to expect.

The Rocket took to the table first and reached 13 before potting a superb three-ball plant on a red. However, the break ended at 21 after missing the next red to leave a chance for Woollaston to reclaim a foothold in this contest.

He replied by missing an ambitious red to the yellow pocket, as O’Sullivan then pulled a double out of the bag, only to miss a black to the right corner.

Woollaston’s safety game was strong, but he knew that he would need to open up the reds on the table to have a realistic chance of winning the frame. However, he failed to do that off the black, which ended the break.

However, he did go on to win the frame with an impressive break of 48 to claim the sixth game 96-30 and leave the pair facing a final frame shootout.

It was to be Woollaston’s day, and his break of 61 was enough to win the final frame 79-6 and set up a second-round meeting with either Barry Pinches or Peter Lines later this afternoon.

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