Thursday 8 December 2016

Ronnie O'Sullivan falls at first hurdle in Llandudno

Published 09/03/2016 | 00:51

Ronnie O'Sullivan lost to Michael Holt
Ronnie O'Sullivan lost to Michael Holt

Ronnie O'Sullivan was a first-day casualty at the World Grand Prix in Llandudno on Tuesday as he went out to Michael Holt.

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O'Sullivan - without a ranking defeat in 2016 - looked set to go home with a whimper as he slumped 3-0 down, Holt running up scores of 88 and 119.

But the five-time champion replied to level at 3-3 before Nottingham man Holt cracked in a 76 in the decider.

The 40-year-old's exit came on a day of shocks, with world number three Neil Robertson going out 4-3 to Peter Ebdon.

Robertson was hindered by the gritty Ebdon and unable to find any fluency, with Ebdon taking a decider in a low-scoring clash with a 69 break.

"It was a tough match and I'm delighted to win," Ebdon told World Snooker's official website.

"I butchered a few balls, but it's hard to get over the line when you haven't been getting results. I was very focused and felt I had a chance of winning. Things haven't been going for me this season and I'm looking for consistency."

Ding Junhui was also taken to a decider, but the Chinese prevailed, knocking out Ben Woollaston, with his highest break of 61 getting him over the line.

Elsewhere, Barry Hawkins was whitewashed 4-0 by Joe Perry and Martin Gould beat Tian Pengfei by the same scoreline and Ryan Day beat Matt Selt 4-1.

More surprising was John Higgins' clean sweep of fellow Scot Stephen Maguire, Higgins putting together runs of 92, 54, 69 and 79.

Northern Ireland's Mark Allen also advanced to the second round with a 4-2 victory over England's David Grace.

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