World Snooker

Ronnie O’Sullivan wants Ding Junhui over Mark Selby in World Grand Prix final to save snooker fans from late night

China’s best player takes on the world number one for a chance to play a resurgent Rocket in the showpiece showdown

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 February, 2018, 5:22pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 February, 2018, 5:22pm

Ronnie O’Sullivan wants to play Ding Junhui in the final of the World Grand Prix rather than Mark Selby.

The 42-year-old English snooker star would prefer the Chinese potter because world number one and reigning World Champion Selby is renowned for slow play, while Ding is more in keeping with the quick-fire snooker that O’Sullivan has made his trademark. And he thinks it would be better for the fans: “I’d rather play Ding. If it’s Mark it’ll kill me! They better put late trains on for the public to get home!”

The Rocket is in the form of his life chasing a fourth ranking title of the season and having hit more century breaks this season than any other.

China’s number one snooker star Ding beat Anthony McGill 5-3 in the quarter-final to set up his Sunday morning (Hong Kong time) semi with Selby.

O’Sullivan has been in devastating form on and off the table recently. After twice coming from behind to beat 18-year-old star in waiting Yan Bingtao 3-2 and then whitewashing Xiao Guodong 5-0 before another comeback win over Stephen Maguire in the semi.

Ronnie O’Sullivan takes swipe at ‘flaky’ youngsters after recovering for comeback victory against China’s Yan Bingtao at World Grand Prix

After beating Yan, the Englishman claimed that too few players on the tour have the “bottle” needed to see games out and that the game’s youngsters are “flaky under the cosh”.

This came just weeks after he hit headlines for claiming that too many professionals “are never going to be good enough”.