Ronnie O’Sullivan begins the defence of his Masters crown hoping some recommendation to opponent Liang Wenbo doesn’t backfire on him on Sunday afternoon.

The Rocket goes for a file seventh title within the prestigious invitation event, staged at Alexandra Palace in north London.

And the 2 know every very effectively, having solid an in depth friendship following years as observe companions on the Grove facility in Romford.

Wenbo, 29, was difficult Ding Junhui for the China No1 tag some years in the past after which misplaced his approach within the sport, badly underachieving given his unquestioned capacity.

However he began to punch his weight by reaching the ultimate of the UK Championship in 2015, after which lastly claimed a primary rating title success on the English Open this season.

And five-time world champion O’Sullivan, 41, hopes some assist contributed to Liang discovering his approach out of the wilderness.

O’Sullivan mentioned: “I’ve recognized him for years, he used to observe eight hours a day in Romford and I advised him he was overdoing it.

“I advised him to go and have a life, do solely two or three hours. He was doing all that point and nonetheless couldn’t pot a ball in tournaments.

“So I advised him to go to Sheffield, see his Chinese language mates, see his household – and to not do what I did at his age. And he has completed it and by no means been happier.

“I’ve handed on a couple of psychological expertise and approach ideas, and he’s considered one of my shut mates. I like to assist folks.

“And I’ve helped a few of the youthful Chinese language gamers based mostly right here. I like to assist folks in my area, I understand how robust it may be.

“They’re good youngsters, and have sorted me right here, they’re real. The bit I’m giving them is the simple bit, the robust bit goes out and doing it.”

O’Sullivan additionally revealed that he’s serving to the younger Chinese language gamers passing by means of the Grove, that he nonetheless makes use of as an occasional base.

However worryingly he doesn’t see many if any teenage skills within the UK equally worthy of the identical sort of mentoring.

O’Sullivan added: “There isn’t a one to cross it on to within the UK of the precise age. For those who take a look at what we now have in England there’s Kyren Wilson, however he’s 25 I feel.

“I don’t see no 15- or 16-year-olds on the market, we used to find out about folks on the market. That died actually when the tobacco ban got here in and golf equipment shut in a single day

“The entire grass-roots of snooker was gone, and the newbie scene has nearly disappeared. I used to play in newbie occasions each week, going around the nation.

“Once they opened up the professional sport to anybody as they did, it killed the newbie sport. You might be seeing the repercussions of dangerous, fast knee-jerk selections.

“The one gamers for me to cross what I do know on to are in China. You spend a month on the market, they wish to use me.

“They’re doing what we used to, there are academies with 20-30 tables with prime gamers getting one of the best observe. The federal government subsidise it, and kind the households out.

“They spend money on their children with expertise, on this nation we bale out banks who rip the nation off and produce it to its knees.”


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