Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

18.39 3 Dec 2019


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Ronnie O'Sullivan has said Judd Trump's shock last-32 exit at the UK Championship last night is inevitable in a sport that has so much travelling and competing.

The reigning champion O'Sullivan was speaking after his progression to the last-16 stage this afternoon, with a relatively straightforward 6-2 win over Thailand's Noppon Saengkham.

Trump was on the wrong end of an incredible 6-3 match last night at The Barbican in York - going out to 54-year-old Nigel Bond, and 'The Rocket' said results like that in snooker will happen.

"I just think, no matter who you are, when you're playing week in week out, at some point... it's very difficult to keep that momentum going.

"At some point someone's gonna play a blinder against you and you might be a little bit off, and that's all it takes. I thought Nigel [Bond] played brilliantly well and deserved his victory."

Trump became world champion earlier this year for the first time in his career, while Bond himself was once a world finalist, losing the 1995 decider 18-9 against 'King of the Crucible' Stephen Hendry.

O'Sullivan says being able to deal with defeats comes with being a champion in any sport.

"I just think that's part and parcel of sport, you can't win them all and sometimes you have to accept that it's not easy to win and sometimes you respect the game a bit more I suppose. You just realise that you can't play well every day."

Forty-three-year-old O'Sullivan - going for his eighth UK Championship title - says his Thai opponent today played reasonably well in parts, and he added he was glad the tournament table set-up was becoming more intimate.

"Yeah he went for his shots, and got a few flukes and stuff like that. It was tough, tough out there.

"I think it becomes like a proper tournament, with two tables and yeah, it's more centred around two matches rather than four."

Up next for O'Sullivan is Chinese star Ding Junhui, a player he gets on with very well. Ding saw off the challenge of Ali Carter 6-4 this afternoon, and O'Sullivan said that's a match he is excited for.

"I'm looking forward to it, I like playing Ding [Junhui]. I enjoy him and he looks like he's playing well, so it should be good fun."


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Barbican Judd Trump Nigel Bond Noppon Saengkham Off The Ball Ronnie O'Sullivan Snooker UK Championship

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