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Ronnie O'Sullivan v Xiao Guodong: International Championship 2016 preview - Rocket faces tricky opener

Jamie Shaw 24 Oct 2016
Ronnie O'Sullivan of England reacts (credit:Credit by bettingpro)

Ronnie O'Sullivan aims to avert an early exit at the International Championship by overcoming an in-form Xiao Guodong in Daqing on Monday afternoon.

O'Sullivan followed up his run to the final of the European Masters in Romania with a below-par last 32 exit in the English Open and will be keen to return to winning ways over this longer format. 



The five-time World Champion is appearing in this lucrative event for only the third time, with his previous best run carrying him to the Quarter-Finals two years ago.

World number nine O'Sullivan is faced with a tricky opener against China's third highest ranked cueist, who notably produced three century breaks in his win over Michael Holt en route to the last 16 of the recent English Open.

Xiao is no stranger to reaching the latter stages of major ranking events, having reached the final of the 2013 Shanghai Masters and Semi-Finals of the 2014 Australian Goldfields Open.

Xiao, however, faces added pressure in front of his home crowd, though the ever-popular O'Sullivan is still likely to receive the lion's share of support as he aims to kick-start his quest for a first title of the season.

This will be only the fourth meeting between the two players, with 'The Rocket' having prevailed on two occasions - most recently the last 32 of the 2014 Welsh Open.

Their latest clash gets underway from 12.30pm BST and will be contested over the best of 11 frames at the Baihu Media Broadcasting Centre in Daqing, China.

Norway's Kurt Maflin, the world number 42, awaits the winner in Round Two later in the week.


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Ronnie O'Sullivan v Xiao Guodong: International Championship 2016 preview - Rocket faces tricky opener

Ronnie O'Sullivan aims to avert an early exit at the International Championship by overcoming an in-form Xiao Guodong in Daqing on Monday afternoon.

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