Ronnie O’Sullivan made an unfortunate start at the 2022 Hong Kong Masters as he pocketed the cue ball with his opening shot.
After receiving a rapturous reception ahead of his match with home favourite Ng On-yee, O’Sullivan proceeded to botch his break-off by bumping the white off the cluster of reds and into a pocket.
“An inauspicious start from O’Sullivan, going in off the break,” said Philip Studd on Eurosport commentary.
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“That’s pretty unusual. And he still gets a roar for it!”
Alan McManus added: “He caught the wrong red, just brushed the second red from the end of the pack and spun off.”
Three-time women’s world champion Ng was left with a challenging loose red but coolly stroked it home to the delight of the home crowd, screwing back perfectly for the pink.
However, O’Sullivan – after missing a routine pink – got back in and soon found his groove to pinch the first frame.
Ng only played eight tournaments last season due to Covid restrictions. She beat 1997 world champion Ken Doherty in British Open qualifying in August.
Neil Robertson, who appeared to be put off by a protestor during his earlier win over Mark Williams, won the Hong Kong Masters the last time it was staged with a 6-3 triumph over O'Sullivan in the 2017 final.
The champion collects a £100,000 winner's cheque with the runner-up earning £45,000. Every player is guaranteed £22,500 for competing.

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