Ronnie O’Sullivan has backed Yan Bingtao to win “at least one or two world titles” after the 20-year-old’s triumph at the Masters on Sunday.
Yan became the first debutant to win the tournament since 2008 after fighting back to beat two-time champion John Higgins 10-8 in the final in Milton Keynes.
The Chinese youngster, who came through three final-frame deciders to reach the final, recovered from 5-3 and 7-5 down to win his first Triple Crown title.
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His performances throughout the week have impressed seven-time Masters champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, who is now tipping Yan for big things.
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“It’s a good time to be coming into snooker,” said O’Sullivan in the Eurosport studio.
“It’s hard to say because there might be another three or four who come out of the woodwork, but at the moment he’s the most mature one.
“We’ve seen him do it under extreme pressure, you need to perform under pressure to win at the Crucible, I just think he’s going to get stronger and stronger and it’ll bring other players through.
“I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t win at least one or two world titles.”
Watch the moment Yan clinches dramatic Masters triumph
'He's going to be around maybe longer than me'
Higgins was magnanimous in defeat as he also tipped Yan to shine on the biggest stage.
“It’s a brilliant achievement winning it at such a young age, congratulations to Yan,” said Higgins, who arrived on the scene as part of snooker's Class of '92.
“I’ve played him over the last few years and he’s not really got much to learn in the tactical department. He’s scoring as well now.
“He’s going to be around maybe longer than I’ve been around in the game. As I say, he’s about the same age as my boy so good luck to him.
“He could definitely be world champion, without a shadow of a doubt. China’s very lucky to have Yan as a player.”
Yan, who won his first ranking title at the Riga Masters in 2019, is yet to progress beyond the second round at the World Snooker Championship.
The 2021 worlds are slated to start on April 17 in Sheffield.
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