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Ronnie O’Sullivan Overcomes Elbow Pain to Triumph Against Andrew Pagett at English Open, While Neil Robertson Falls to Sanderson Lam

Despite grappling with the effects of his tennis elbow injury, Ronnie O’Sullivan displayed remarkable resilience to secure victory against Andrew Pagett in the first round of the English Open in Brentwood. In a shocking twist, the 2021 champion, Neil Robertson, faced an unexpected early exit as he was defeated by Sanderson Lam. Meanwhile, Mark Allen and John Higgins advanced to the second round of the tournament.

Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Andrew Pagett 4-0 to reach the second round of the English Open in Brentwood, despite nursing an elbow injury.
Hours after winning a race against the clock to arrive in Essex in time following an exhibition match with Jimmy White in Hong Kong, the 2017 champion started his campaign brightly as breaks of 69 and 62 helped him progress.
Following his whitewash win, O’Sullivan opened up on the severity of his tennis elbow issue to Eurosport’s Alan McManus.

“It’s no good really,” he said. “I’ve tried resting it, I’ll get back on the painkillers and it will be alright, but I don’t want to be taking them for a long time.
“I might have to have another cortisone [injection] which would be my third one. I don’t really want to because it weakens the muscles, apparently.”
On the injury, he continued: “It started in 2022, I had it before in 2021 but it was alright. Then I went in the gym, lifted too many heavy weights and then I couldn’t even pick up a cup of tea.
“From that moment, it’s been very weak. Injections sort it out but you aggravate it and it goes back to not-so-good.”

Ronnie O’Sullivan Overcomes Elbow Pain to Triumph Against Andrew Pagett at English Open, While Neil Robertson Falls to Sanderson Lam

O’Sullivan began to visibly struggle with the pain in the fourth frame and was relieved to put an end to the match as soon as possible.
“That’s the first shot I felt it,” O’Sullivan said as he reviewed one of his power shots in the final frame. “Until then it was alright, and then I thought ‘here we go’.
“A couple of times I had to play a shot with power, long red, and I was just like ‘eugh’. I was trying to squeeze it and do the exercises which you’re supposed to do, but I was happy to just get over the line.”

O’Sullivan pipped a tight opening frame, which Pagett had for the taking until he accidentally went in-off when firing home a difficult brown, paving the way for O’Sullivan to step in and remove the blue.

Pagett returned to the table needing a snooker and both remaining balls but, following a short tactical battle, O’Sullivan delicately potted the pink to put the frame to bed.
With that, Pagett’s chances always looked poor.
O’Sullivan mustered a break of 69 to take control of the second frame and it was the same story in the third as O’Sullivan raced ahead to quell any hope of a Pagett comeback.
The Rocket would have been pleased to have wrapped up the fourth frame as quickly as he did as the elbow pain started to increase, as he benefitted from some sloppy Pagett play.
O’Sullivan will have a day’s rest before facing Jackson Page in the second round on Wednesday.

It was a messy start to Neil Robertson’s match with Sanderson Lam and quarter of an hour into the first frame, it was decided a re-rack was in order.
Once the match finally found its flow, Robertson enjoyed an encouraging sequence which saw him pocket the green and black in quick succession before working down the table with two reds remaining.
However, his attempt on the penultimate red was denied by the jaws of the pocket and Lam was able to take advantage and sweep into the lead.
Mistakes were free-flowing from both players in the second frame, but neither were able to take advantage and clear the table. Instead, it came down to the final black and a poor safety shot from Lam enabled Robertson to pot and level the match.
Lam made a terrific start to the third and left the 2021 champion needing three snookers. After missing a number of pots he would expect to make, the Australian conceded the frame to give Lam a 2-1 lead.

That advantage was stretched further to 3-1, when Robertson conceded in similar fashion.
As he glided around the table, dispatching a series of red-blacks, Robertson appeared not to be fazed by a possible early departure from the tournament. A loose shot allowed Lam back to the table, but he was unable to clear up and the game was kept alive at 3-2.
Robertson started the sixth frame with the same gusto as the last, resulting in Lam needing snookers to get back into the frame. He duly obliged, forcing Robertson into a frame-changing miss.
With the match within his grasp, Lam overcut a pink, leaving Robertson needing a double for the frame, but he missed.
Lam stepped up to drain the pink and finish off the match and cause a big upset to progress to a second round clash with Stuart Carrington.

Mark Allen delivered an impressive performance, recording four consecutive centuries en route to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Mostafa Dorgham. This achievement placed him as only the second player in history to achieve such a feat in a best-of-seven match.

In another exciting match, John Higgins secured a 4-3 victory against Marco Fu.

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