Ronnie O’Sullivan finally picked up a win over Elliot Slessor at the third time of trying, picking up an impressive 4-1 win at the Northern Ireland Open.
Slessor has upset the Rocket twice before, beating him in this event three years ago and in the 2018 China Open, comfortably winning on both occasions.
The underdog looked like he might upset the odds again on Wednesday afternoon when he won the first frame with a break of 71
It could have got worse for the world champion with Slessor missing the final red in the second frame which would likely have seen him get over the line and go 2-0 ahead.
However, the 44-year-old got over the line then made breaks of 76, 78 and 97 to cruise to victory.
O’Sullivan was well aware of his poor record against Slessor and described the win as one of his finest.
‘That’s up there with one of my best victories of my career,’ the Rocket told Eurosport. ‘He’s beat me twice before, had the voodoo sign over me, seems to play fantastically well every time he plays me.
‘He started off really well and I thought, “here we go again, bit more cake in the face, back up the M1, going home.”
‘It had to be [a good performance], beat me twice before, he obviosuly plays well against me, fancies the job.
‘The way he started against me, I though “here we go again,” he was cruising round the table. I had to hopefully get a chance, he was unlucky not to go 2-0, I stole one and got in the game.’
O’Sullivan thinks highly of the 26-year-old and feels like an improved temperament will see the world number 58 winning tournaments in the future.
‘Everyone on the circuit knows how good Elliot is, he can play, mate,’ he said.
‘If he plays like he did in that first frame, then why can’t he win tournaments? He should be winning tournaments.
‘I think with Elliot, he’s a little bit like Michael Holt, it’s temperament, he can get a bit down on himself, can get a bit frustrated with himself and this game’s all about temperament.
‘World champions have won world titles, not because of their great talent or as good ability as Elliot, but because of their great temperament.’
O’Sullivan takes on Matthew Stevens in the third round on Thursday.
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