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Ronnie O’Sullivan withdraws from British Open as replacement steps in

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Ronnie O’Sullivan is maintaining a light schedule early in the season (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan will not be playing at the British Open next week in Cheltenham, withdrawing from the event due to ‘medical reasons’.

The world number one won the Shanghai Masters last week impressively, beating Ali Carter, John Higgins, Mark Selby and then world champion Luca Brecel in the final.

However, he will not be playing his scheduled match with Jimmy Robertson in Cheltenham on Monday.

A World Snooker Tour statement on Thursday read: ‘Ronnie O’Sullivan has pulled out of next week’s Cazoo British Open for medical reasons.

‘The world number one was due to face Jimmy Robertson in the opening round on Monday, but instead he has been replaced in the draw by Steven Hallworth.’

It is a recurring theme for the Rocket, who withdrew from the European Masters in August, with ‘medical reasons’ cited then as well.

O’Sullivan is due to be back in action at the English Open on 2 October in the opening round of the English Open in Brentwood.

After not playing in the Championship League and withdrawing from the European Masters and now British Open, O’Sullivan is yet to play any ranking tournament so far this campaign and his world number one spot will be up for grabs next week in Cheltenham for Luca Brecel and Mark Allen if they can go deep in the event.

Brecel is just £5,000 behind the Rocket in the world rankings, so the Belgian Bullet will be eyeing up that world number one spot for the first time in his career.

Allen is much further behind and would need the £100,000 top prize to topple the Rocket in the rankings.

MORE : Jack Lisowski on facing Judd Trump, brilliant Luca Brecel and the best Ronnie O’Sullivan

MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan says he’s ‘preparing for death’ after Shanghai Masters triumph over Luca Brecel

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