Ronnie O'Sullivan has withdrawn from the German Masters.
The world No.1 was supposed to begin his campaign against Oliver Brown on Wednesday in the first of two potential qualifying rounds in Leicester.
However, Scottish player Ross Muir will now take on world No. 110 Brown instead.
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O'Sullivan last won the tournament in 2012 when he defeated Stephen Maguire 9-7 at the Tempodrom.
The last 32 qualify for the finals venue at the Tempodrom in Berlin between February 1-5, 2023.
Zhao Xintong won his opening tie qualifying defeating compatriot Wu Yize 5-3.
Victory has set up a clash with Pakistan’s Muhammad Asif in the final qualifying round. Asif sealed his progression thanks to a 5-2 win over three-time Women’s World Champion Ng On Yee.
Tom Ford held off a Zhang Jiankang fightback to edge through with a 5-4 victory, while Anthony McGill eased through with a 5-1 win over Jamie O’Neill.
O’Sullivan’s withdrawal comes after he suffered a 6-0 defeat to Ding Junhui in the quarter-finals of the UK Championship last week.
He arrived at the Barbican in York with two titles to his name already this season, but his body language through the week was not positive.
Despite beating Zhou Yuelong 6-0, O’Sullivan said he was playing bad - only his bad was better than that of his opponent.
Jimmy White was unimpressed with O’Sullivan’s display. against Ding.
“Ronnie kept saying he was playing bad, but we did not see it,” White said in the Eurosport studio. “But he showed it today, he did play bad.”
White suggested the writing may have been on the wall with O’Sullivan not spending time on the practice table.
“Let's be honest he hasn't been in here practising,” White said. “He won his last two matches and before he was.
“In his interviews he's saying like, he's not feeling it, and he's not blah blah blah and these things do catch up with you now and again.”
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