Ronnie O’Sullivan Wants More Snooker Events in Saudi Arabia After Winning Riyadh Title

Ronnie O’Sullivan, the world number one snooker player, has urged Eddie Hearn, the promoter of the sport, to organize more events in Saudi Arabia after winning the Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker on Wednesday. O’Sullivan defeated Luca Brecel 5-4 in a thrilling final to claim the £250,000 prize money and the inaugural trophy.

The Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker was the first professional snooker tournament to be held in Saudi Arabia, as part of the country’s efforts to diversify its economy and promote its tourism and entertainment sectors. The tournament, which was sanctioned by the World Snooker Tour, featured 16 of the world’s top players, who competed for a total prize fund of £1.5 million.

However, the tournament also faced criticism and controversy, as some players and human rights activists expressed their concerns over the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, especially regarding the treatment of women, minorities, and dissidents. Some players, such as Neil Robertson and Mark Selby, decided to withdraw from the tournament, citing personal or health reasons.

A Challenging and Exciting Final

The final between O’Sullivan and Brecel was a close and exciting affair, as both players displayed their skills and nerves in front of a packed crowd at the King Abdullah Sports City. O’Sullivan, who had beaten Ding Junhui and Mark Williams in the previous rounds, took a 2-0 lead with breaks of 86 and 75, but Brecel, who had defeated Judd Trump and John Higgins, fought back to level the match at 2-2.

The next four frames were shared, as O’Sullivan made a 147 attempt in the fifth frame, but missed the 15th red. Brecel responded with a break of 102 in the sixth frame, but O’Sullivan regained the lead with a 76 in the seventh frame. Brecel then forced a decider with a 69 in the eighth frame.

The final frame was a tense and dramatic one, as both players had chances to win the match, but also made mistakes under pressure. O’Sullivan eventually potted the final pink and black to seal the victory, and lifted the trophy amid cheers and applause from the audience.

A Praise and a Plea from O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan, who won his 39th ranking title and his first one outside the UK since 2019, praised the organizers and the fans for their hospitality and support. He said that he enjoyed playing in Saudi Arabia, and that he was impressed by the facilities and the atmosphere. He also thanked his opponent Brecel, who he described as a “great player and a great person”.

O’Sullivan also made a plea to Hearn, who was present at the venue, to arrange more snooker events in Saudi Arabia, as he believed that the country had a lot of potential and passion for the sport. He said that he would love to come back and play again, and that he hoped that the tournament would inspire more people to take up snooker.

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